B’deshi student gets 42 yrs jail over knife attack in Australia
SBS: A Bangladeshi national who stabbed her Melbourne homestay host in an effort to “become a martyr” has been jailed for 42 years.
Momena Shoma, 26, admitted to engaging in a terror act when she stabbed Roger Singaravelu as he napped with his five-year-old daughter at Mill Park on February 9, 2018.
Crying, “Allahu akbar”, Shoma plunged the knife with such force it embedded into Mr Singaravelu’s neck and the knife tip snapped off.
Justice Lesley Ann Taylor on Wednesday jailed Shoma for 42 years with a minimum 31-and-a-half years, calling the young woman an “insignificant criminal” with “repugnant logic”. “Your actions sent waves of horror through the Australian community, but they do not make you a martyr … they make you a criminal,” she told the Victorian Supreme Court.
Justice Taylor said Shoma’s “sole purpose” of entering Australia was to commit a terrorist attack, with her enrolment to study a masters of linguistics at La Trobe University a ruse.
Shoma spent just eight days in Australia before the attack and told police she had practised by stabbing a pillow while staying with a different family.
She planned the attack by purchasing night vision goggles, Googling “how can you tell if someone is in deep sleep?” twice and singled out Mr Singaravelu as her victim because he was vulnerable.
Justice Taylor said Shoma has shown no remorse.
“Indeed the only regret you have uttered is you did not succeed … that sentence is despicable,” she said.
Her victim and his family, “generous enough to open their home to a stranger, now suffers physically, emotionally and financially”, Justice Taylor said.
Mr Singaravelu has previously told the court he had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder since the attack, took a cocktail of medication and used alcohol to try to forget what happened to him.
“I relive the attack, the look on her face and the blood splattered on the wall,” Mr Singaravelu said in his victim impact statement.
His daughter also suffered from PTSD, flashbacks and nightmares.
Speaking outside court after the sentencing, Mr Singaravelu said he was blessed to have survived the attack.
“I should be in a wooden box or in a wheelchair,” he told reporters.