A man has been sentenced to 28 years in jail for brutally murdering his ex-girlfriend in “a burst of anger and jealousy” after finding her with another man.
David Tran, 29, appeared in the New South Wales Supreme Court on Friday after being found guilty of fatally stabbing Daiane Pelegrini at her Oatlands apartment in 2020.
The couple began dating earlier that year, after they met at a massage parlor where Pelegrini worked.
Judge Julia Lonergan noted that “terms such as friendship, dating or romance do not adequately reflect the complexity of the relationship” between the couple.
David Tran, 29, was found guilty of fatally stabbing Daiane Pelegrini in her Oatlands apartment in 2020.
They messaged each other daily and Tran regularly told Pelegrini that he loved her and that she was his first girlfriend.
However, the nursing student became angry with him when he showed up at her house uninvited on June 5, 2020.
‘Do not call me Anymore. Finished,” she messaged him.
The couple rekindled their romance after Tran apologized, promised not to show up unannounced, and transferred her $1,000.
Things got ugly when Pelegrini realized that he had been logging into her social media accounts for months.
The court heard Tran showed up uninvited at her home, her gym and even when she was on vacation.
The mother of one repeatedly asked him to stop messaging her and to “leave her alone,” even going so far as to threaten to call the police.
“I’m done with you,” he told her.
Undeterred, Tran sent more than 60 sexually explicit messages to the 33-year-old man over 10 hours.
“You have a problem,” he sent him a message on WhatsApp.
‘No means no and it’s over.’
In the months before Pelegrini’s death, she reported that Tran had called her hundreds of times and sent her hundreds of threatening messages.
He accused her of cheating on him multiple times, despite her repeated claims that they were no longer in a relationship.
Pelegrini was at home with another man on August 3, 2020 when Tran burst in and unleashed a “vicious and prolonged attack.”
Tran was sentenced to 28 years behind bars
Tran stabbed Pelegrini more than 20 times in multiple areas of her body, including her head, breasts and genitals.
He had broken into the house with the intention of hiding and intimidating the Brazilian when she got home.
When he entered her room, Tran stabbed her more than 20 times in multiple areas of her body, including her head, breasts and genitals.
One of the blows was so strong that it penetrated the elderly caregiver’s skull, while another went through her chest to puncture her lung.
Judge Lonergan said Tran had brutally murdered Pelegrini in “a burst of rage and jealousy”.
“He couldn’t handle her rejection of him and her moving on with someone else and she didn’t want to see him anymore,” she said.
“There is no doubt that by repeatedly and brutally stabbing Daiane in that manner and letting her bleed, the offender intended to kill her.”
Judge Lonergan said the “brutal and prolonged attack” had been “merciless” as Tran ignored his ex-girlfriend “pleading with him for help”.
The court heard the other man tried to separate Tran from his ex-girlfriend, but was attacked and injured.
When they arrived, they found Pelegrini alive among “blood-soaked walls and floors.” She later died in the hospital.
Her family members remembered her as “a loving mother who made life fun, happy and safe” and a “determined, strong, brave, persistent and beautiful woman who is greatly missed.”
Judge Lonergan said Tran had brutally murdered Ms Pelegrini in “a burst of rage and jealousy”.
Tran was arrested and charged with murder, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, entering house with intent and using carriage service to threaten.
The court heard he had attempted to fight the charges by arguing he was mentally disabled, but psychiatric evidence did not support his claim.
Judge Lonergan noted that Tran had since been diagnosed with schizophrenia, but the evidence had not shown that his mental illness was present at the time of the murder.
She sentenced him to a total of 28 years in prison with a minimum of 21 years behind bars.
Tran will be eligible for parole on February 2, 2042 when he is over 40 years old.