Woman stabbed fiance over wedding argument

A Sydney man became so violent when his fiancee said she wanted to postpone their wedding that she stabbed him to save herself, her murder trial has heard.

Marcela Castaneda admits fatally attacking her long-term partner Gregory Peck in their western Sydney home with a 15cm kitchen knife in February 2013 but has pleaded not guilty to murder, arguing she acted in self-defence.

Her Supreme Court trial heard Mr Peck, an aircraft engineer, had been drinking and after hearing Ms Castaneda wanted to delay their wedding the couple, who had lived together since May 2009, began arguing.


“My partner went to hit me and I grabbed the knife and I, I, I stabbed him,” Ms Castaneda told a triple zero operator she had called, her trial heard on Wednesday.

“I did it because he was trying to hit me and I got scared.”

Castaneda, 33, later told police Mr Peck had grabbed her throat and these varying accounts indicate the attack was either a pre-emptive strike or retaliation, crown prosecutor Patrick Barrett said.

DNA from Mr Peck was found on Castaneda’s neck.

“Ms Castaneda did not act genuinely in self defence but she did so in retaliation,” Mr Barrett told the jury.

But her defence lawyer, Phillip Strickland SC, argued it was self defence against a man who had repeatedly abused Castaneda, usually after drinking.

Mr Peck had previously admitted to grabbing Castaneda in a “choke hold” and police had been called to their home several times, the court heard.

“Theirs was a relationship punctuated by violence,” he said.

“She had no intention to kill him or cause him serious harm.”

After calling triple zero, Castaneda tried to assist Mr Peck and was found holding a towel to his chest by emergency services.

She also made no attempt to conceal the knife and immediately told police she had stabbed Mr Peck, Mr Strickland said.

After hearing evidence on Wednesday afternoon, Castaneda began sobbing and was comforted by several supporters in court.

The trial continues.