Brian John Kenny who stabbed Mauryeen Kenny in the neck before giving her a kiss as she died. She was not suicidal but he claims he wanted to end her misery.
Brian John Kenny who stabbed Mauryeen Kenny in the neck before giving her a kiss as she died. She was not suicidal but he claims he wanted to end her misery.

Man violently kills wife in her sleep to 'end her misery'

A DEPRESSED husband stabbed his ailing wife in the neck as she slept before covering her with a blanket and giving her a kiss as she died, a court has heard.

Brian John Kenny, 71, told police more than two years ago, that he stabbed his wife because he wanted to "help her along and fix her pain".

There was no evidence before the court that Mrs Kenny had indicated she wished to end her life.

The husband today pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of his spouse of 38 years, Mauryeen Kenny, 69, at their home in Stafford Heights on April 27, 2017.

The Brisbane Supreme Court heard Mrs Kenny was in constant pain due to shoulder and back injuries but was still able to undertake domestic tasks.

Mr Kenny was suffering from depression in the months leading up to the killing, which the court heard distorted his thinking so he "believed the only course of action was to kill his wife and put her out of her misery".

Brian Kenny pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Brian Kenny pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

The court heard the killing was "violent and sustained" and Kenny attacked his wife while she was heavily sedated from drugs after seeing a physiotherapist for her injuries the day before.

Hours later when she lay in bed, her husband entered the bedroom wearing a pair of gardening gloves, holding a serrated bread knife.

Kenny then began stabbing his wife in the neck and the head three times.

During the protracted killing, Mrs Kenny told her husband she "loved him" and asked for a glass of water, the court heard.

After the stabbing, Kenny kissed his wife, told her he loved her and "watched her stop breathing" before covering the body with a blanket.

Justice David Boddice described the killing as "particularly brutal and sustained" because the woman was also asphyxiated and struggled against her husband who covered her mouth and nose.


Mauryeen Kenny.
Mauryeen Kenny.


"She valiantly struggled but you did not desist until you took her life," he said during sentencing.

Kenny then tried to take his own life in a what the court heard was a "half-hearted" attempt.

Two days later, Kenny phoned triple-0 and police found Mrs Kenny dead, laying face down on the floor of her bedroom in a pool of blood and covered by a blanket.

Kenny was originally charged with murder and his case was heard by the mental health court who found he was capable of being sentenced only for the downgraded charge of manslaughter.

The court found he had diminished responsibility due to the major depressive disorder he was suffering at the time of the killing.

The man also was unable to sleep, had high blood pressure and lost 20kg, defence barrister Tim Ryan said.

"The brutality is only reduced as a consequence of the medical condition, otherwise it would be murder," Justice Boddice note during the sentencing hearing.

Kenny was sentenced to nine years' jail for the manslaughter of his wife.

He will be eligible for parole on April 28, 2020 after already serving 960 days on remand.

The court heard is now taking medication for his depression and his daughter had indicated to the court she wanted her father to be released from custody.


*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.