A family member of Andrew Drake, who was stabbed to death in Batemans Bay, is frustrated the events in his killer’s recent stalking conviction were not included in his trial.
Daniel James Sharpe was sentenced to more than seven years’ jail for killing 29-year-old Mr Drake after a NSW Supreme Court jury trial earlier this year.
But he could be released from custody in less than five years, despite stabbing the loving family man 11 times.
Sharpe claimed he had acted in self-defence and was protecting his father, after his father and Mr Drake had gotten into a fight.
He was found not guilty of a murder charge, but the jury did find the 20-year-old guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.
On Thursday (24 June), Sharpe pleaded guilty to a charge of stalking/intimidation in the Batemans Bay Local Court.
This charge relates to a late-night incident on 13 April 2019 when Sharpe threatened a neighbour to his Surfside home with a large knife.
The victim thought Sharpe was “wired up and ready to go”. Not long after this incident, Sharpe stabbed Mr Drake to death.
After the recent sentencing, Mr Drake’s sister Lucy Wessell told Region Media she had “mixed feelings” when hearing how Sharpe admitted he threatened his neighbour with a knife an hour before killing her brother.
“I feel somewhat relieved that Daniel has finally taken accountability for committing a crime, but mostly, I feel overwhelmingly frustrated that this evidence was withheld from the jury in the trial that found Daniel Sharpe not guilty of the murder of my brother,” she said.
“In my opinion, this evidence would have made the greatest difference to the jury’s verdict.”
Ms Wessell said the new conviction proved that Sharpe did have a knife with him on the night he killed her brother.
“You can’t imagine the anguish of having your brother brutally stabbed to death, then having the perpetrator tell a story of how he did so in an act of defence of his father and then, finally, have the court accept the killer’s version of events,” she said.
“This left our family utterly devastated because not only is our brother dead, he now rests in his grave with unequivocally false facts written into history and case law about him.
“It seems unjustifiably cruel that this evidence was withheld, and to be honest, it’s hard to move past this.
“I’m not sure that the injustice of it will ever leave me.
“Lastly, I’d like to say how much we miss and love Andrew and wished every day that he were still here.”
Magistrate Doug Dick sentenced Sharpe to six months’ jail for the stalking charge, running concurrently with his jail sentence for manslaughter.
Sharpe had been given a non-parole period of four years and nine months for killing Mr Drake, which means he is eligible for release in October 2024.