Amirah Droudis jailed for stabbing murder of Lindt gunman Man Monis’ ex-wife

Amirah Droudis appearing in one of the many videos she made with her partner Man Haron Monis. She was the “trusted ally” of Sydney siege gunman Man Haron Monis and the “critical player” in his brutal plan to dispose of his ex-wife.
Nanjing Night Net

Amirah Droudis, now 37, wanted to be the replacement as mother of his children and to cement her relationship with Monis by forming a new family unit.

But while Monis manufactured a highly contrived alibi for himself, Droudis’ account of her whereabouts on the day of the murder failed to convince.

In the NSW Supreme Court on Wednesday, she was sentenced to a minimum of 33 years in jail for stabbing Monis’ ex-wife 18 times, dousing her body in petrol and setting her on fire during a frenzied attack in Werrington in Sydney’s west in 2013.

Justice Peter Johnson accepted that Monis was the “planner and orchestrator of the murder” and had been physically and emotionally abusive to Droudis, but said she was a mature woman of sound mind who had the capacity to exercise her free will.

“Monis planned the murder of his former wife, although he seemingly was not prepared to carry out the killing himself, with his trusted ally, the offender, doing so on his behalf,” Justice Johnson said.

“The offender became a critical player in Monis’ plan to murder.”

While noting that Droudis’ moral culpability was in no way reduced by the sway Monis had over her throughout their “highly unusual” relationship, he rejected the Crown’s bid to impose a life sentence.

Justice Johnson found that Droudis had “fair” prospects of rehabilitation but said it was difficult to understand her continued adherence to the Islamic faith if she had left the influence of Monis behind.

“It might be thought that the offender’s experience with her Muslim faith was something of a poisoned chalice, associated as it is with criminality in conjunction with Monis,” Justice Johnson said.

Droudis pleaded not guilty to the murder, claiming she was at her parents’ house, but she was convicted after a judge-alone trial last year.

She met Monis after her mother made an appointment at his spiritual healing and clairvoyant business, in regard to which he was later charged with multiple sexual assault offences.

They had started a relationship by at least 2006, with Droudis converting to Islam and changing her name from Anastasia to Amirah, although Monis was sexually involved with other women throughout.

Droudis appeared in a series of extreme videos at the bidding of Monis – who styled himself as “Sheikh Haron” online – in which she praised Osama bin Laden and celebrated 9/11, the Holocaust and Bali bombings.

She also participated in bizarre protests with him in Martin Place outside the Channel Seven building and was charged alongside him for writing letters to family members of an Australian soldier killed in combat.

“The offender uncritically adopted and espoused Monis’ vile beliefs,” Justice Johnson said.

The court heard that it was their shared desire to remove Monis’ ex-wife from the picture, so they could start a new family unit together with her children.

Monis had twice approached members of the Rebels bikie gang trying to solicit a hit on his ex-wife, but they did not take him seriously and thought he might be working for the police.

On the day of the murder, Monis lured his ex-wife to the sub-leased apartment on the pretence of her picking up her children.

Droudis attacked her in the stairwell, as a terrified neighbour watched through the peephole of his door and heard the dying woman scream for mercy.

In the following hours, Droudis and Monis filmed themselves acting out scenes of domestic bliss with their family. Monis had already told his children that Droudis’ name was “Mumi” and encouraged them to call her that.

Monis had crafted an elaborate alibi for himself, filming clocks while visiting a swimming pool with his children and crashing his car outside a police station and insisting he be taken to hospital.

Two weeks earlier, he had taken out a home contents insurance policy on his unit, in anticipation that it would suffer damage from water used to extinguish a fire.

Outside the court, Sonia, a close friend of Monis’ ex-wife, said she was “very happy and overjoyed” by the sentence.

“I was expecting life but I am happy with that number. Very happy,” she said.

“I would never ever forget my best friend. She was amazing. She would do anything for anyone. She would go out of her way.”

Monis had been charged with being an accessory before and after the fact to murder but was shot dead after taking 18 customers and staff members hostage during the Lindt cafe siege in December 2014.

“Monis is dead and cannot face justice for his own large part in the murder of his former wife,” Justice Johnson said in his sentence.

“No one mourns his passing and many have been left to grapple with the consequences of his destructive acts.”

Droudis did not appear to react when she was sentenced to a maximum of 44 years in prison. With time already served, she will be eligible for parole in 2047.

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