Amirah Droudis, 41 years old, repeatedly stabbed the ex-wife of Sydney siege gunman Man Haron Monis. This took place in a Western Sydney apartment block in 2013 before dousing her in petrol and setting her alight.
Last 2017, Amirah was sentenced to 44 years in jail with a non-parole period of 33 years following a judge-alone trial which ruled that Monis planned the murder but wasn’t prepared to carry it out himself.
However, today, the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal quashed the original sentence and imposed one of 35 years with a non-parole period of 26 years.
Droudis’ earliest release date so far on calculation is March 2041 – which is about six years sooner than that of her original sentence.
With Chief Justice Tom Bathurst and Justices Clifton Hoeben and Peter Hamill comprising the appeal panel, they have found the sentencing judge blundered when considering the impact of the death of Monis during the Lindt Café siege last 2014.
They found the removal of his ongoing “evil and pervasive” influence on Droudis should have been taken into account. This impacted the ongoing danger she poses and her prospects of rehabilitation, the court found.
For the judges, they have accepted the murder executed by Amirah had a “ritualistic flavour”, however not motivated by terrorist ideologies.
According to the judgment “There is nothing to suggest that the applicant’s continued adherence to the Islamic faith rendered it more likely that she would engage in future criminal activity of the nature of that for which she had been convicted.”
It was said that Monis yearned to secure custody of their two children after separation in 2011, so he plotted to murder his former wife.
Justice Peter Johnson, the original sentencing judge, had described it a “brutal and callous attack upon a defenceless woman”.
More so, Justice Johnson found out Droudis had plenty of opportunity to pull out of the plan and ignore Monis’ directives, which couldn’t have set the victim on fire.
Looking back, Droudis and Monis met last 2003 and formed a bond before Amirah decided to convert to Islam with her daughter.
In 2008 and 2009, Amirah appeared in propaganda videos as she recites scripts written by Monis under the guise of “Sister Amirah”.