Moyston murderer stabbed her ex's mother in throat: court

A MOYSTON woman who pleaded guilty to murdering her ex-partner's mother by stabbing her in the neck, appeared in the Supreme Court in Ballarat for a plea hearing on Friday.

Leah Marie Stensholt, 42, of Moyston, near Ararat, sat in the dock wiping her eyes with a tissue before proceedings under Justice Elizabeth Curtain began.

Crown prosecutor Andrew Grant said Stensholt had travelled to Carol McDonald's house, the mother of her ex-partner Paul McDonald, around 9pm on May 5 last year. 

The court heard after being refused entry into the house by Ms McDonald, Stensholt smashed a glass door panel with a pot plant and made her way inside through the front door. 

Stensholt then grabbed Ms McDonald, 65, by the throat, picked up a 20cm knife from the kitchen draw and stabbed her in the neck. 

Ms McDonald died at the scene. 

Mr Grant said Stensholt drove away from the scene and later left messages on Mr McDonald's phone saying he would be next.

"You better answer your phone, I (have) got some news for you," Mr Grant read in a statement to the court. 

"I just called your phone ... and you're next (expletive)." 

Stensholt has six children, three fathered by Mr McDonald.

Defence lawyer Peta Murphy said on May 5 her client had received a phone call from Mr McDonald explaining the couples' two younger children wanted to live with him. 

Ms Murphy said Stensholt interpreted the conversation to mean she would not be able to see her children again. 

She also said Stensholt had borderline personality disorder traits and was experiencing numerous stresses in her life at the time of offence.

"The relationship she had with the McDonalds was an unhappy one for a very long time," Ms Murphy said. 

"She ... had a very difficult time in the relationship and in her life." 

Ms Curtain said there was an element of vindictiveness to Stensholt's behaviour on the night of the murder. 

In the Supreme Court in Melbourne on November 6 last year, Stensholt plead guilty to one count of murder.

Ms Curtain adjourned the case without a fixed date.

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