Melbourne man let wife die a miserable, avoidable death, sentenced to jail

By @chelean on
A gavel is seen in a hearing room in Panama City April 7, 2016. court judge hammer
A gavel is seen in a hearing room in Panama City April 7, 2016. Reuters/Carlos Jasso

A Melbourne man who watched his wife fight for her life and die after five days has been sentenced to at least eight years in jail. Mohamed Naddaf, who pleaded guilty to the criminally negligent manslaughter of his wife, Ashlee Brown, allowed her to die in their “unkempt and dirty” home in November 2016.

Justice John Champion said Friday that Brown was found in the passenger seat of the couple’s car after suffering from a “deliberate and frenzied assault.” She was tied up with a clothesline wire and was said to have had more than 100 injuries. As to who inflicted the injuries on her remains unknown. Champion said it was not the court’s position to prove who inflicted the injuries in that case.

Naddaf, 37, helped Brown to their Craigieburn home’s bathroom and laid her down on a flannelette sheet on the floor. He fed her water through a syringe for five days. He finally called triple zero on Nov. 6 after his wife died from complications.

The Supreme Court of Victoria heard that Brown had cuts and bruises all over her body. These injuries worsened overtime. An autopsy also confirmed that she suffered multiple blunt and sharp force trauma injuries to her head, buttocks, torso, arms and legs, with stab wounds to her thighs, AAP reports. When the ambulance officers arrived, they noticed Brown was already “cold to the touch and stiff,” which meant she had been dead for some time.

Judge Champion did not accept Naddaf’s claim that it was Brown herself who begged him not to call for help for fear that authorities would take away their children. He said that while it wasn’t possible to say when Brown died exactly, it was apparent that she suffered to a “considerable degree.”

He also described Naddaf’s attempts at caring for Brown as “feeble and derisory” and “deserving of condemnation.”

He said, “She lay on the floor of the bathroom for four to five days where you allowed her deterioration. All that was required was a phone call.

“Her death was slow, avoidable and miserable.”

Champion sentenced him to 11 years’ imprisonment. Naddaf must serve at least eight years before he can qualify for parole. He has already served 621 days in pre-sentence detention.

Siobhan Brown, the victim’s mother, told reporters that Naddaf should have been charged with murder. She believed that her daughter, who had converted to Islam when she married Naddaf, who is a Muslim, was trying to escape the marriage.

She is now campaigning for Australian women to learn more about Islam before converting to it. “From what I’ve learned, the woman is not equal to the man — your whole life as you know it is taken away from you,” she told Nine’s “A Current Affair” in a past interview.