A man found guilty of stabbing his lover’s husband burst into tears on Wednesday as he was sentenced to seven years jail, according to AAP reports.
Ari Dimitrakis repeatedly stabbed Chris Soteriou, on January 2 this year, as Mr Soteriou, who had been celebrating his 44th birthday, was walking back to his car with his wife Vicky. Mr Soteriou had no idea the attack that almost killed him had been planned by his wife and her 49-year-old lover, who had been having a “torrid” affair for more than two years.
Mr Soteriou was placed in an induced coma and spent three weeks in hospital. He was informed of his wife’s affair, by police, upon awakening. He remains in pain and suffers emotional trauma.
The court was told Dimitrakis has known Vicky Soteriou since 1994. In early 1995, Ms Soteriou contacted Dimitrakis saying her father was forcing her to marry a man she did not want to wed. After a chance meeting the pair rekindled a sexual relationship, which was the start of an intense affair during which the pair bought burial plots and Ms Soteriou had her lover’s name tattooed on her wedding ring finger, hidden beneath her ring, and Dimitrakis had her name tattooed near his groin. The pair discussed leaving their spouses, but Ms Soteriou wanted to guarantee her financial security before leaving her husband, who had $2 million in superannuation at the time he was attacked.
On the day of the attack, Dimitrakis met Ms Soteriou in a park where she handed him a knife wrapped in a towel, saying “See you tonight”. Dimitrakis claimed to have no memory from the time he got the knife until he collected his wife from a gaming venue after the attack. He said he had taken too many tablets and was “off his nut”.
Victorian Supreme Court Justice Paul Coghlan, on Wednesday, told Dimitrakis the plot was callous, cold-blooded and well-planned.
“You alone attacked Mr Soteriou and inflicted the various injuries upon him which will affect him for the rest of his life,” Justice Coghlan said, adding “you can blame your co-accused as much as you like but by your plea you accept what you did.”
Dimitrakis was originally charged with attempted murder but agreed to plead guilty to the lesser charge of intentionally causing serious injury. He also received credit for agreeing to give evidence against Ms Soteriou.
After the sentencing, Mr Soteriou’s brother John called Mr Dimitrakis a “gutless prick” and stormed out of court, telling reporters outside he was disappointed by the jail term.
“The sentence he got was very, very lenient. Chris is suffering every day because of what they done to him,” he said.
The judge, taking into account Dimitrakis’ guilty plea and mental condition, jailed him for a minimum five years. The jail term takes into account a year he has spent in custody.
Ms Soteriou is due to face a pretrial hearing next year.