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Lankan doctor in Australia loses appeal over manslaughter of husband

(UDHAYAM, COLOMBO) – A Sri Lankan-born doctor who was jailed after being found guilty of killing her abusive husband has failed in her bid to have her conviction and sentence overturned, Australia’s ABC News reported.

Chamari Liyanage was sentenced to a four-year prison term after being convicted by a Jury in February last year of unlawfully killing Dinendra Athukorla in Geraldton in 2014.

She was released on parole in March this year after a protracted fight to reinstate her Visa to stay in Australia.

Liyanage appealed against her conviction and sentence, but on Thursday (22) in a unanimous decision, three Appeal Court Judges dismissed her arguments.

She was not in Court for the judgment.

During her trial, she maintained that she remembered nothing of what happened to her husband, with the Court hearing the couple’s five-year marriage was defined by the “worst kind” of escalating sexual, physical and emotional abuse.

She testified she had tried to leave her husband six times, but was trapped in a cycle of abuse with someone who was “a monster”.

She was eligible for parole in July last year, but did not seek release because her Visa at that time had been revoked and she would have been deported to Sri Lanka.

It is understood Liyanage has voluntarily agreed to suspend her medical licence.

In its decision to dismiss Liyanage’s appeal against her sentence, the Court said the term she received was appropriate.

“The sentence imposed was a significantly lesser term than the sentences usually imposed for the offence of manslaughter, even in the presence of significant mitigating factors,” the judgment read.

“The sentence is not arguably manifestly excessive, either as to the type of sentence or the length of the term of immediate imprisonment which was imposed.”

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