A loving mother hailed by her loved ones as a “ray of sunshine” was enjoying life with a new partner when her ex-husband stabbed her to death on Christmas Day in front of their two children in Tasmania.
Darren Mark Wake pleaded guilty in December to the murder of midwife Rachel Wake, 52, at her Hobart home on December 25, 2021.
Wake brought home a knife he had purchased online three weeks earlier after telling Mrs. Wake he wanted to bring a gift to her teenage son.
When she got to the front door, she told Wake that her son didn’t want to see him.
His teenage daughter was also there at the time.
Rachel Wake, a mother of two, was stabbed to death by her ex-husband on Christmas Day 2021.
Wake, who quit his job as a nurse a few days before the murder, came in but Mrs Wake told him not to go any further or she would call the police.
He took the knife out of his pocket and stabbed her 17 times, including in the neck.
She was rushed to the hospital, but died shortly after.
Director of Public Prosecutions Daryl Coates SC told the Tasmanian Supreme Court that Wake blamed his ex-wife for not being able to see their son and that was the motive for the crime.
Coates said Wake had been afraid of him after the couple divorced in 2012.
He said Wake had been aggressive and emotionally manipulative toward the couple’s son.
Wake’s mother told the court her only daughter was smart, funny, loyal and a “ray of sunshine.”
‘The love he had for his family was deep. No one had the right to take his life,’ she stated.
Rachel (pictured) was stabbed to death in front of her teenage children.
‘(Wake) has caused me pain from which I will never recover.
‘I talk to her every day. I miss her every day. I cry every day. When the phone rings, I pray to hear “hello, it’s me.”
He said his daughter had been happy with a new partner and a new life.
“I have never felt hatred towards another… but now I do,” he said.
Wake’s daughter Romany said she has since struggled with anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, self-harm and survivor’s guilt.
‘(Mom) was my rock. There was always beauty in life when my mother was around,” she said.
Wake spoke to triple zero operators immediately after the stabbing and told them: “It’s me, I’m the guy who just did it.”
“I have stabbed my wife several times,” he said in a recording of the call played to the court.
The midwife was described by her mother as “a ray of sunshine”, as well as “smart, funny and loyal”.
Coates described Wake’s confessions to police after the murder, saying he also gave a lengthy account of frustrations and difficulties in co-parenting.
“It was 20 years of frustration and he acted stupidly,” Coates said.
“In the past (he) thought about killing Rachel, but he said anyone in a bad relationship would think about killing their spouse.”
Wake, who initially pleaded not guilty, is expected to appear in court on March 5 and be sentenced at a later date.
His lawyer Fabiano Cangelosi said it was necessary to investigate an important matter, which was not publicly revealed to the court.
Readers seeking help can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyond blue on 1300 22 4636.
National Domestic Violence Service: 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732). If you are in immediate danger, call triple zero (000).