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Dad jailed for 25 years after he reached over his kids to fatally stab their mother in the neck

Dad gets 25 years in prison after he reached between his kids to fatally stab their mother in the neck during a jealous rage

  • James Leonard Fairhall, 47, gets 25 years in prison for fatal stabbing of Noeline Dalzell
  • Mother-of-three’s children witnessed the stabbing after an argument
  • Fairhall was jealous that Mrs Dalzell had entered into a new relationship
  • He reached among the kids to stab his former partner in the neck in 2020

Noeline Dalzell’s teenage children screamed and tried to protect her from their father before he reached between them and fatally stabbed her in the neck.

Each day, the three children relive the trauma of seeing James Leonard Fairhall murder their 49-year-old mother.

“There’s been a huge hole left in their lives by the loss of their mother, three young lives forever changed by your despicable violence,” said Victorian Supreme Court Justice Jane Dixon, who will jail him for 25 years on Friday.

The 47-year-old man was jealous and furious when he chased Ms Dalzell through her home in Seaford, south-east Melbourne, in February 2020.

She had become romantically interested in an old school friend after she ended her on-again, off-again 20-year relationship with Fairhall, who had been violent towards her in the past.

Fairhall moved back into the family home a few months earlier when he had nowhere else to live.

The death of mother-of-three Noeline Dalzell, 49, had

The death of mother-of-three Noeline Dalzell, 49, had “left a huge hole in their lives from the loss of their mother, three young lives changed forever by your despicable violence,” Victorian Supreme Court judge Jane Dixon told me. her killer James Fairhall

Two days before the murder, Fairhall had told friends he wanted to kill the man Mrs. Dalzell was talking to.

Hours before the stabbing, he called her newfound love interest and apologized to him.

When his children came home from school on February 4, they found their parents arguing. Fairhall yelled at Mrs. Dalzell, accusing her of cheating on him.

When he put down a pair of scissors he had held in his hands, their youngest child, then 13, hid them. Fairhall then armed himself with a large kitchen knife.

The eldest daughter of 16 and son of 15 pushed their mother into the son’s bedroom to protect her, but Fairhall followed them.

The two children sat between their parents, while the younger daughter watched.

All three yelled at him to stop before Fairhall reached out and stabbed their mother in the neck.

Fairhall’s son grabbed him to the ground and dropped the knife, allowing Mrs Dalzell to flee to a neighbor’s house.

Fairhall continued to pursue her, armed with a second knife, but Mrs. Dalzell collapsed in the street and died of her neck wounds.

The scene at Seaford's house, in south-east Melbourne, after Fairhall stabbed Mrs Dalzell in the neck in February 2020

The scene at Seaford’s house, in south-east Melbourne, after Fairhall stabbed Mrs Dalzell in the neck in February 2020

Justice Dixon said Fairhall’s offense was a serious example of murder of an intimate partner.

“The tragic legacy of your crime is that your three children actually lost both parents as a result of your actions,” she said.

Fairhall tried to blame his children in letters he wrote to them from prison. They were never handed over, but were used by prosecutors to show his lack of remorse for the crime.

If he serves his time, he will be eligible for parole in 16 years.

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

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