The son of a woman who murdered her abusive husband by lacing a cookie with temazepam has said she doesn’t deserve jail time because she suffered for more than a decade at his hands.
Rebecca Payne, 43, who has been dubbed the ‘cookie monster’, was found guilty earlier this year of murdering father-of-five Noel Payne, 68, by a High Court jury in regional Victoria.
At sentencing this week, Judge Rita Incerti said Payne’s “appeal for clemency is compelling” because of the horrific abuse Mr. Payne inflicted and endured over many years.
She was sentenced to a maximum of 16 years in prison and must serve 10 years before being eligible for parole.
But Payne’s son Jamie said the punishment was too harsh, saying a person can “only take so much physical, mental and sexual abuse.”
“I don’t feel like she deserved it (the punishment) because she went through 14 or 15 years of abuse,” Jamie shared A current situation.
“I think she served her time.”
Rebecca Payne’s son Jamie (pictured) said he felt his mother had already served a prison sentence in an abusive relationship
Rebecca Payne, 43, who has been dubbed the ‘cookie monster’, was found guilty earlier this year of murdering father-of-five Noel Payne by a Supreme Court jury in regional Victoria.
Jamie has moved to rural Victoria from WA to care for his younger siblings.
“I know she (Payne) has nightmares, she can’t sleep sometimes,” he added.
“But I know that where she is, she got help and will definitely come out stronger than when she went in.
“I hope she gets out soon and we can just become a family and reunite as one again.”
In September 2020, Payne gave her husband a lethal dose of temazepam by basting the frosting on cookies and serving them to him with a cup of Milo.
She then wrapped him in a blanket and stored his body in a chest freezer in the backyard of their Walpeup home.
The murder came after years of coercive control and physical, emotional and sexual abuse from Mr Payne.
He cut off communication with her family and friends, did not allow her to attend her son’s funeral, and forced her to get 18 tattoos of his name on her body.
Once, after an argument over finances, Mr. Payne took her to a cemetery, grabbed her by the hair, kicked her in the ribs, and spat on her as she lay on the floor.
Justice Incerti said it was impossible to separate the impact of the “insidious abuse” on Payne from her motive for killing him.
“You were trapped in an abusive, violent and cruel environment for over a decade,” she told the court.
“Your behavior and regrettable decision to kill Mr. Payne cannot be separated from your circumstances and the domestic violence you endured at his hands.”
At her trial, Payne said her husband Noel (pictured) had physically and psychologically abused her for 14 years
Justice Incerti said the case “cries aloud” for her to use a high degree of mercy in determining a prison sentence.
“Your claim to mercy is compelling,” she said.
Payne has already served two years and seven months of her sentence.
She said she was subjected to tremendous physical and psychological abuse along with another mentally challenged woman who had brought her husband into the household in a vicious manner.
Many of Walpeup’s 170 residents (pictured) see Rebecca as the real “victim” and hailed her as a hero for saving the lives of others in the home
She claimed that her husband would rape her “whenever he felt like it”, control her and beat her.
He also had her fired from her job at a store in Ouyen, 20 minutes east of Walpeup, because he often sat inside and frightened customers who would talk to her.
A neighbor, John, said the punishment was “not fair” and that Rebecca was “the real victim.”
A man who lived close to the Paynes claimed that “there is no doubt” that Noel intended to kill Rebecca, their two sons who lived there, and the other woman.
“She saved at least four lives. She didn’t know if she would go to bed and wake up the next morning,” the neighbor said.
“Or that her boys would go to bed and wake up the next morning.”