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Joseph Stephen, blind brother of slain mother, Rachelle ‘Sassy’ Rowlinson, asks court to impose maximum sentence

Today, my sister’s killer’s sentencing submitions were heard. The news covered the story and posted most of the poem I wrote. Below is the poem as it should have read. Please note, Paul’s tragic life story was also heard in court. This just highlights the terrible result of family breakdown as society casts Christianity behind its back. Afterall, it is the God of the bible who said, “Thou shalt not kill”. Let us not forget that our country’s legal system was built upon Biblical law.

A Poem for PRW
By Joseph Stephen
For the 1st anniversary of my sister Rachele’s death 29 March 2014.
To Paul Richard Wheeler, who was convicted on February 18 2014 of Rachele’s manslaughter.

(Emergency call evidence presented during his trial clearly exhibited premeditated action, R v Paul Richard Wheeler. Court File Number SCCRM 13-218, Exhibit P9.)

In drunken rage, her life destroyed,
Remaining now, an aching void.
Her children left without their mother,
A sister taken from a brother,
A mother longing for her daughter,
Families crushed by brutal slaughter.
May you understand in time,
The pain from this titanic crime.

A troubled soul, indeed she was,
But that is insufficient cause.
To snatch away my sister's life,
With a Wiltshire stay-sharp knife.
You rushed her to a tragic end,
Yet claimed to be her loving friend.
Then in court you dare to plead,
That you're the victim to be believed.

So common oh this line of thought,
So many victims left distraught!
Their perpetrators spin a yarn,
To paint them target of the harm.
Defense then give their story clout
And the jury is swayed by seeds of doubt.
So justice fails to bring relief,
For the victim and their family's grief.

I pray good comes from tragedy.
Perhaps you will be brought to see,
That manliness is self-control,
Not drinking lots of alcohol,
Then showing muscle in a fight,
And using women every night.
Please learn from the Titanic’s worst,
Men put women and children first.

- Joseph Stephen

Joseph Stephen, blind brother of slain mother, Rachelle ‘Sassy’ Rowlinson, asks court to impose maximum sentence

  • by: Court Reporter Ken McGregor
  • From: The Advertiser
  • July 23, 2014 6:01PM


Rachelle "Sassy" Rowlinson’s brother Joseph Steven outside court. Source: News Corp Australia

THE blind brother of slain Mid-North mother Rachelle “Sassy” Rowlinson has read a poem to the man who killed her.

Paul Richard Wheeler has been found guilty of manslaughter over the fatal stabbing of Rachelle “Sassy” Rowlinson during an alcohol-fulled altercation at Eudunda in March 2013.

In a poem titled Poem For Paul and read as a victim impact statement to the court today, Ms Rowlinson’s brother, Joseph Stephen said:

“In drunken rage her life destroyed, remaining now is an ageing void

her children left without a mother, a sister taken from a brother

A mother longing for her daughter, families crushed by the brutal slaughter

May you understand in time, the price for this titanic crime

A troubled soul indeed she was but this is insufficient cause

To snatch away my sister’s life, with a Wiltshire stay-sharp knife

You rush her to her tragic end, yet claim to be her loving friend

Then in court you dare to plea, that you are the victim to be believed

So common though is this line of thought, so many victims left distraught

Then perpetrators spin a yarn, make them the target of the harm

Events then give their story clout, and the jury is swayed by seeds of doubt

So justice fails to bring relief, for the victim and their family’s grief

I pray that you come to look at this tragedy, perhaps you will be brought to see

That manliness is self controlled, not by drinking lots of alcohol

Then showing muscle in a fight and abusing women every night

Learn from the Titanic words: a man puts women and children first”

In his statement, Mr Joseph also said he could only begin to describe the “intense grief, crushing agony and emotional upheaval caused by the brutal stabbing of my sister Rachelle”.


Victim Rachelle “Sassy” Rowlinson Source: Supplied

“My sister who from a child looked after her little blind brother by leading me by the hand, getting my breakfast making my school lunch, reading the latest story, playing me her favourite music and being a fiercely protective older sister is now dead,” he said.

“Her life stolen in a moment of uncontrolled, violent, drunken, anger.”

Mr Stephen, whose nephew tendered a victim impact statement earlier this month, asked the court to impose a hefty sentence on Wheeler.

“While I personally forgive Rachelle’s killer, I request that the judge give Paul Richard Wheeler the maximum sentence allowable to this court for this crime to discourage those who engage in alcohol fuelled-violence and think they can get away with it.”

He will be sentenced at a later date.

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