UPDATED: 5.56PM Suggestions a law change is needed to protect victims of domestic violence after a possible legal first in the High Court at Wellington this morning.
A Porirua woman has been sentenced to 12 months home detention for killing her partner during a domestic violence incident.
Mother-of-five Aaliyah Tagatauli has previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter after stabbing Mura Tagatauli in the leg last March, he later died in Wellington Hospital.
He was on electronically monitored bail for assaulting her at the time, and had beaten her that day.
The 29-year-old's lawyer Letizea Ord said her client was suffering from battered woman syndrome.
She said the relationship had become out of control and the pair were trapped in a cycle of violence.
Massey University Deputy Vice Chancellor Chris Gallavin said she might have escaped a conviction if a defence like provocation was available.
"She might've even had a full defence to murder and therefore been not convicted with anything. But the fact is, the law at the moment deals with people in her situation very clumsily and inappropriately.
"And I don't know of any home detention that's been given for manslaughter. It just reflects the nature of the fact that that crime can be committed in a number of different ways."
Justice Clifford said he has not seen, or been able to find a case where manslaughter by stabbing led to a sentence of home detention.
But he said despite the loss of a person's life, she is not someone who needs prison, nor did she intend to kill her partner that day.
Lawyer Marie Dyhrberg told Larry Williams the case highlights the need to put resources towards helping people break free.
LISTEN ABOVE: Marie Dyhrberg talks to Larry Williams
"We need to be able to get people out of these relationships. We've got to make sure the abusers. the people committing the violence, get as much help as they can to stop it."