An Adelaide father who tried to gas himself and his young daughter has been jailed for more than 14 years for the attempted murder of the girl.
Shaun Mate and his three-year-old daughter were found unconscious in July 2020 in what a judge described as a vindictive act of domestic violence.
In the days leading up to the crime, Mate had bought two gas tanks, putting his plan into place after an argument with his then-wife.
Sentencing him in the Supreme Court on Friday, Justice Geraldine Davison said the impact of the 45-year-old’s offending was significant and widespread.
“Sadly, in many marriage breakdowns, when feelings are running high and the parties are feeling aggrieved and vindictive, the notion of depriving their partner of one of the greatest joys of their life can seem to be a way of wreaking revenge,” she said.
“There is a significant element of vindictiveness, planning and preparation in your offending.”
On the night of the offending, Mate had made a photo montage of the couple, which he played on the television and said to his wife, “this is what you’re going to miss out on”.
Justice Davison said he later became angry and his ex-wife began to feel unsafe and called the police.
Police arrived and the couple agreed he would stay in a room downstairs.
The judge said the girl’s mother woke during the night to find her daughter missing from her bed and when she tried to open the door to her husband’s room he told her to “go away, we’re having a little sleep now”.
At that point, the mother heard both her daughter groan and the sound of gas and called police again.
While Mate had barricaded himself in, officers eventually gained entry where they found the girl unconscious and suffering from hypoxia.
Justice Davison said while the offence was both planned and pre-meditated she accepted a psychologist’s finding that Mate was suffering from a major depressive disorder at the time.
However, she said she regarded his crime as at the higher end of the scale.