SIMBU man Elias Kaupa was not present in court in Lae on Wednesday when Justice Nicholas Kirriwom jailed him for 30 years in absentia after finding him guilty of murder.
The court learnt before the sentence that Kaupa, 49, had escaped from custody for the third time for killing his wife in 2002.
Justice Kirriwom described Kaupa’s crime as one of the worst he had presided over, and called for people “to respect the sanctity of human life”.
He described in vivid details the wounds sustained by the wife, who died from heavy loss of blood following the attack by Kaupa.
The court heard that Kaupa, “drunk at the time of the killing, exercised so much violence and force when stabbing his wife repeatedly” on various parts of her body, that some of the wounds reached 15cm in depth.
“The last plunge of the knife was stuck deeply in her spine that in his struggle to pull it out, the knife’s handle broke off; a doctor later managed to retrieve the murder weapon at the hospital,” Justice Kirriwom said.
The court heard that the Simbu couple had a stormy marriage and Kaupa was having a defacto relationship with another woman before murdering his 34-year-old wife at Sodas Compound, near the Lae port.
Kaupa, who was detained following the killing in 2002, escaped that same year and after being recaptured, escaped again in 2003 and was on the run for three years before being recaptured, for the second time, in 2006.
His recent escape, the third, was only made known to Justice Kirriwom by a lawyer after the judge had called for Kaupa to take the defence box to be sentenced.
Kaupa will serve 26 years and four months for his crime but it is believed that could increase, considering additional penalty for his recent escape.