A man, who murdered his estranged ex-wife at his home in Perth’s northern suburbs, has been slammed as “coward” by his victim’s family.
Paul Anthony Cannon, 55, was sentenced in the Western Australian Supreme Court on Friday to life in prison over the stabbing murder of Lynn Cannon, 51, in December last year.
Cannon was also handed a 19-year non-parole period.
As the sentenced was handed down by Justice Anthony Derrick, Ms Cannon’s family and supporters erupted into applause in the public gallery.
Among them was Ms Cannon‘s sister Jacqueline Darley, who read her victim impact statement to the court during sentencing submissions.
At one point she stopped and shouted at Mr Cannon: “Look at me, you coward.”
He remained sitting in the dock with his head in his hands, refusing to meet her glare.
The court was told Mr Cannon used two kitchen knives to repeatedly stab his former partner to death at his home on Hardcastle Ave in Landsdale.
Prosecutor David Lima described the attack as “particularly savage.”
“This murder (was) driven by festering and burgeoning possessiveness, anger, jealousy and selfishness,” Mr Lima said.
“This murder was particularly savage using, of all weapons, a kitchen knife, to not once, not twice, but repeatedly stab the victim to the chest seven times.
“All while repeatedly yelling out: ‘I told you I was going to kill you.’”
The court heard Mr Cannon previously told his landlord he would kill Ms Cannon using swords he owned, and sent her abusive text messages saying things like he “hoped and prayed she was dead” and that she ”died painfully.”
On the day of the murder, Mr Cannon and his former partner got into a heated argument, prompting neighbours to call police.
Mr Cannon’s landlord is understood to have found Mr Cannon stabbing Lynn Cannon, repeatedly shouting: “I told you I was going to kill you”.
In sentencing on Friday, Justice Derrick described the attack as “prolonged and vicious.”
Ms Darley’s victim impact statement detailed learning of the death of Lynn, who had separated from Mr Cannon two years prior.
“I received a video call from my sister Jennie who delivered those devastating words: ‘Paul stabbed Lynn, he took her from us’,” Ms Darley told the court.
“I screamed, ‘no, no, no’, my head was spinning and I couldn’t take it in. Please tell me she was injured, anything else, but not that she was gone.
“I looked at her face, her pain and desolation … I could hear my mum sobbing in the background, ‘my baby my baby’.”
Mr Cannon’s defence lawyer argued his client has no prior convictions, aside from traffic infringements, and had no history of physical violence against Ms Cannon.
He tried to argue this should be a mitigating factor in sentencing, but it was rejected by Justice Derrick.
Ms Cannon’s death prompted conversations about domestic violence, culminating in talks between the WA government, WA Police, and domestic violence advocacy groups in Perth in August.
The incident also prompted a police probe into response times, after it was revealed it took officers an hour and 15 minutes to respond to triple-zero calls made in the wake of the murder.
If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence, help is available 24/7 by calling 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).