Melbourne man jailed for almost killing neighbour over washing machine disagreement

A Melbourne man who almost stabbed his neighbour to death over a fight about a load of washing has been jailed.

Brett Vaisey, 57, was sentenced to seven years' jail before the Supreme Court today, having previously pleaded guilty to attempted murder.

Vaisey repeatedly stabbed his elderly female neighbour, Annick Henenberg, with a 20cm kitchen knife as she headed to their communal laundry about 7.25pm on Australia Day – 26 January – last year.

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The court heard Vaisey was caught on CCTV rushing at Ms Henenberg with the knife moments before the attack, and three people witnessed the vicious assault.

Ms Henenberg had also started an audio recording on her phone right before the incident, which captured Vaisey berating her during the attack.

"Piece of sh*t, die," he was recorded saying.

"If I'm going to jail it's worth it, you know what I mean."

The court heard the woman immediately fell to the ground after Vaisey first stabbed her.

He then continued to stab her until the knife's blade came off the handle, before he kicked and punched her to the head.

A neighbour grabbed Vaisey to end the attack.

Police arrived and Ms Henenberg was taken to hospital in a life-threatening condition.

Vaisey told police, "I didn't want to do it but she provoked me".

The court heard there was a history of disputes between Vaisey and Ms Henenberg.

On the day of the attack they had fought about the communal washing machine.

He had told her to stop using it, complaining it was making too much noise next to his unit.

About an hour before the incident, another neighbour had called police to the complex about Vaisey, reporting he had been standing outside the complex with a large knife.

Vaisey told police Ms Henenberg had been going back and forth to the laundry to provoke him.

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Police left the scene less than half an hour before the attack unfolded.

The court heard Ms Henenberg suffered live-threatening injuries and was still suffering ongoing physical and mental effects of the attack.

At the plea hearing, Vaisey's lawyers told the court he had serious mental health issues that had a causal link to the offending.

The court today heard Vaisey had also suffered an abusive childhood.

Judge Incerti said she was satisfied Vaisey's mental conditions had impaired his ability to make calm and rational choices.

But the Judge said the "ferocious" attack on an unarmed woman was a serious example of attempted murder.

"Your offending was a vicious assault on a woman who was a neighbour moving about her home and its surrounds. The attack was entirely unjustified and unprovoked."

Judge Incerti noted Vaisey had pleaded guilty early and had show genuine remorse.

He was sentenced to a non-parole period of four years and six months.

He has already spent 599 days behind bars.

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