Murderer and convicted heroin trafficker Petrit Lekaj stabbed his 20-year-old daughter eight times in an unprovoked fit of rage when he confronted her about her partying lifestyle, South Australia’s Supreme Court has heard.
- Petrit Lekaj murdered his daughter, Sabrina, in their car last July
- The court heard he stabbed her after confronting her about her drug use
- He was previously convicted of heroin trafficking
Lekaj, 49, will be sentenced next week for the murder of his daughter, Sabrina Lekaj, inside a car in the western Adelaide suburb of Kidman Park last July.
“He believed his daughter was throwing her life away, but the accused’s response to that was to take her life away,” prosecutor Melissa Wilkinson told Justice Trish Kelly today.
“It was unprovoked, she was unarmed, she was unable to defend herself.”
Lawyer Ben Sale, for Lekaj, told the court that his client took a 15-centimetre knife with him when he went to get takeaway food with his daughter on that night.
“He took the knife to scare her,” he said.
Daughter ‘living another life’ involving drugs
He confronted his daughter about her recreational drug use and partying, before stabbing her in the abdomen while he sat in the driver’s seat and she was in the passenger seat, the court heard today.
He then moved behind her, held his hand over her mouth and stabbed her a further seven times until she died.
“It was the realisation that his daughter — the apple of his eye — has been lying; she’s been living another life with friends that involves the use of drugs,” Mr Sale, the defence counsel, said.
“It wasn’t a frenzied attack committed in a moment of provocation but a deliberate decision to get out of the car, back in the car, to continue to stab until she’s dead.
“The prisoner is troubled by his own motivations as anyone else is.”
The court was told that Lekaj tried to explain his actions to police, saying: “Something got into me, I don’t know, I can’t explain it, I wasn’t myself.”
Lekaj previously convicted of drug offences
Justice Kelly questioned the irony of Lekaj’s motivations to confront his daughter about drug-taking when he had been arrested for drug offending in his 20s.
In 1994, he was convicted of trafficking heroin and has prior convictions for cannabis in 2007 and 2009.
But the court was told that Lekaj was acting as a “minder or protector” for his friend who was trafficking heroin and it was not his operation.
Ms Wilkinson, the prosecutor, told the court the young victim was not afforded an opportunity to change her lifestyle.
“As a 26-year-old himself, the prisoner has committed crimes involved with illicit drugs and has been given ample opportunity by the court — yet he gave his daughter no opportunity,” she said.
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Justice Kelly said the victim was at the “tip of her insolent years”.
“The prisoner wasn’t adequately equipped to deal with his daughter’s behaviour,” Mr Sale said.
“She behaved in a manner not uncommon for teenagers, showing a lack of gratitude, insolence, rudeness — none of which warrant what he did.
“What Sabrina needed was care and guidance — what she was doing by no means had ruined her life.
“With proper guidance and parenting, she could have come out of this period of her life of partying and using recreational drugs to lead a perfectly successful and happy life.”
He said Lekaj was “indifferent” to what jail term should be imposed and had told a psychologist he “deserved to be in hell”.
The court heard Lekaj tried to kill himself shortly after the murder.