A Sydney woman has been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment almost two decades later after brutally murdering her mother and faking a home invasion.
Isabela Caroline Camelo-Gomez pleaded not guilty to killing Irene Jones however was found guilty by a jury in the NSW Supreme Court for the murder she committed on November 2nd, 2001, after being found in a pool of her mother’s blood.
“She died as she lay on the kitchen floor from the combined effects of ligature strangulation and the stab wound inflicted upon her,” Justice Helen Wilson said.
The 48-year-old had devised a plan to brutally murder her mother by strangling and stabbing her, blaming the events on a home invasion that did not occur.
“Matricide is a rare crime, one to a particular degree of horror attaches,” Justice Wilson said.
At trial, it is alleged that Isabela was obsessed with a married man Carlos Camelo-Gomez and married his brother in Colombia for visa purposes.
Prosecutors alleged that her motive stemmed from her mother being seen as an obstacle to her relationship with Carlos and that she was responsible for the murder either personally or as part of a joint criminal enterprise with him.
However, due to his brain injury from a car crash, he was unable to testify in court and the judge concluded that on the balance of probabilities he most likely stabbed and strangled Jones however will unlikely face justice.
The Crown Prosecution also claimed Isabela Camelo-Gomez was motivated for economic benefits and to inherit her mother’s house.
Justice Wilson also stated that it was “likely that the plan began as no more than fanciful discussions” however eventually “the plan to kill Irene Jones Solidified”.
Justice Wilson described that the murder was “for reason no better than romantic obsession and associated greed”.
Justice Wilson sentenced her to 20 years in prison, with a 14-year non-parole period and lsabela Camelo-Gomez’s role in the crime as having a “particular degree of horror”.
Murder is one of the most serious crimes in New South Wales.
It is closely related to manslaughter charges, however, is differentiated based on the intent of the accused to kill or seriously injure the victim.
Under Section 18 of the Crimes act 1900 (NSW), a murder occurs when the act or omission of the accused is done with reckless indifference to human life, or with intent to kill or inflict grievous bodily harm upon some person or done in an attempt to commit or during or immediately after the commission of a crime punishable with up to 25 years jail or more, during which time death of another person is occasioned.
The maximum punishment for murder is imprisonment for your natural life.
The law sets a standard period of 20 years in prison if the case fits the middle range of seriousness.
Manslaughter is also one of the most serious crimes in Australia that carries a maximum penalty of 25 years imprisonment, according to section 24 of the Crimes Act 1900.
Manslaughter is the act of causing another person’s death without the kind of murder intent explained above. Amongst the different types of manslaughter offences according to criminal law in NSW, one is voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, and criminal negligent manslaughter.
Voluntary manslaughter is a partial defence to murder that can be committed where an individual would otherwise be guilty of murder however due to being provoked, excessive self-defence, or substantial impairment or abnormality of the mind, or manslaughter by unlawful and dangerous act, the charge will be reduced to manslaughter.
Criminally negligent manslaughter occurs in circumstances where an individual owes a duty of care to a person however a person dies because of the voluntary act or omission in accordance with that duty.
For this to be applicable it requires the standard of care to be far below that of what a reasonable person would execute in those circumstances as well as pose a great risk of death or serious bodily harm.
According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, there were 261 homicide incidents in Australia between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020, with 278 victims and 314 identified offenders. This is the highest number of homicide incidents in 15 years.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), There were 370 victims of homicide and related offences – which includes murder, attempted murder and manslaughter recorded in Australia in 2021.
Of these homicide and related offences, 52% were murders 63% occurred at a residential location and 61% involved the use of a weapon.
The ABS also highlighted that majority of victims (70%) were male and 87% were aged 18 years and over.
28% of the incidents were also related to family and domestic violence.
By Alyssa Maschmedt.