Man stabbed and dies days after 'perfect' date

·3-min read
Bianca De Marchi/AAP PHOTOS

A couple's romantic talk of going public with their extra-marital affair, adopting a baby and travelling the world turned into horror and tragedy days later.

Jenny Niguidula is accused of murdering Rhonie Apostol, 53, by stabbing him with a kitchen knife on November 17, 2019, a week after she discovered he had been cheating on her. 

She herself was unfaithful to her husband, Mr Apostol's brother, when the pair began their affair in 2011.

At the time, Mr Apostol was also married and working for Niguidula's company Kaleidoscope International, a market research firm.

Their jobs saw them spending time living and working in New York, Sydney and Manila and travelling to various foreign locales on holiday, including plans to visit Paris, Santorini and go sky-diving in Dubai.

Before their last flight together from Manila to Sydney, Niguidula learned her partner had been cheating for nine years with a nurse named Viva who lived in the Philippines capital and was taking care of his mother.

In a NSW Supreme Court trial, jurors were shown a video of her interview at Granville Police Station where, while wrapped in a green blanket, she recounted what happened leading up to the tragedy.

She said Mr Apostol had apologised to her and was doing what he could to make things right, including buying her Swarovski earrings, making plans to go public about their affair, and talking about adopting a baby from the Philippines.

Jurors heard she had previously tried IVF multiple times and had lost her baby in December 2018. At the time of the miscarriage, she was also diagnosed with median nerve palsy which paralysed her left hand.

After arriving in Sydney, she pushed Mr Apostol to come clean with his wife Geraldine about his affair with Viva.

The pair had gone out on the "perfect" date in Parramatta on Thursday November 14, acting as though they were just in a relationship for the first time.

Buying her the earrings, visiting the Reject Shop and eating KFC, the couple then went home, danced without the music on and talked the night away, Niguidula told police.

"It was already morning and I'm on record, we had the best sex of our life after that," she said.

The following Saturday, the pair drank together at home. After consuming some moscato, Niguidula felt dizzy, started throwing up and fell asleep.

She woke up the following day, crying and thinking about her lost baby, trying to blame Mr Apostol for added stress at the time which caused the miscarriage.

"How can you tell me that you love me yet all you do is ruin me?" she said.

She told police then then woke up to find Mr Apostol making strange sounds in the shower. He was holding a wound on his chest with a kitchen knife nearby.

Becoming increasingly emotional as she described his final hours to police, Niguidula said she thought her partner was joking at first but soon realised the seriousness of what had happened.

"I was touching his face… I was kissing his head. I wanted to kiss him," she said in tears.

She told police she did not know what happened to Mr Apostol but denied that she stabbed him despite being the only one in the home at the time.

"Why would I stab him? We were doing good for the first time in nine years."

Niguidula has pleaded not guilty to murder but pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Apostol with a plastic lamp and manslaughter. This latter plea has been rejected by crown prosecutors.

Her lawyers are running a partial defence of substantial impairment, requiring them to show Niguidula had a mental health condition so severe she could probably not control her actions or understand what she was doing at the time of the stabbing.

The trial continues on Wednesday.