Australia

Sydney siege gunman's girlfriend jailed for killing his ex-wife

Sydney siege gunman Man Haron Monis Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Siege gunman Man Haron Monis recruited his girlfriend to kill his ex-wife

The girlfriend of a man behind a deadly siege in a Sydney cafe has been jailed for murdering his ex-wife.

Amirah Droudis, 37, will spend at least 33 years behind bars for killing the woman -who cannot be identified - in 2013.

Droudis's boyfriend, Man Haron Monis, took 18 people hostage in a Lindt cafe in central Sydney in 2014.

The 16-hour siege ended with the deaths of Monis and two hostages when police stormed the building.

Monis had been charged with being an accessory to his ex-wife's killing, and was on bail at the time of the siege.

Ex-wife's murder

The Supreme Court of New South Wales heard that Monis planned the 2013 murder and Droudis carried it out.

The victim, identified by the pseudonym Helen Lee, was stabbed 18 times before being doused in petrol and set alight outside an apartment in western Sydney.

After the trial, Justice Peter Johnson ruled that Monis recruited Droudis to murder his ex-wife.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Hostages escape the siege at a Sydney cafe in 2014

"The offender uncritically adopted and espoused Monis's foul beliefs and acted in public support of him in public protests," he said in his sentencing remarks on Wednesday.

The judge described Monis as "an evil man" whose death was "a result of his own criminal and murderous acts".

"No-one mourns his passing and many have been left to grapple the consequences of his destructive acts," he said.

The judge acknowledged claims that Droudis had been repeatedly assaulted by Monis.

Droudis was sentenced to a maximum 44 years in jail with a non-parole period of 33 years.

'Justice served'

Detective Inspector Jason Dickinson, who worked on the case, said he was satisfied with the sentence handed to Droudis.

"This was a brutal and callous crime and I think the sentence today has reflected that brutality," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

The victim's family made a statement outside court, thanking the judge, prosecutors and police.

"Today we are very happy that justice has been served to our only daughter," the statement said.

The findings of an inquest into the cafe siege are due to be handed down this year.


How the Sydney siege unfolded

  • A gunman enters the cafe early on 15 December 2014 and has a coffee before holding a gun to manager Tori Johnson's head.
  • The gunman is identified as Man Haron Monis, an Iranian self-styled Muslim cleric given asylum in Australia.
  • Monis already faces a string of criminal charges, including sexual assault and being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife.
  • Several hostages manage to escape the cafe which is surrounded by hundreds of armed police.
  • Police commandos storm the cafe in the early hours of 16 December, after Monis shoots Mr Johnson dead.
  • Monis and cafe customer Katrina Dawson die in the police operation.

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