An Israeli man was sentenced to 23 years in prison on Thursday for the attempted murder of his wife and the abuse of their son, in a case that sparked a national debate on the prevention of domestic violence.
Aviad Moshe was convicted in August of the attempted murder or Shira Isakov, as well as of inflicting serious injury under aggravated circumstances on her and abusing of the couple’s son by forcing him to watch the violence.
Since her recovery, Isakov has spoken openly about the attempted murder, in a bid to push authorities to do more to stop domestic and gender-based violence.
Moshe's indictment said he stabbed Isakov 20 times and hit her repeatedly with a rolling pin in front of their son, then sat on her as she was lying on the floor, wounded and bleeding, and proceeded to choke her. Isakov testified that Moshe whispered "die already" while he was choking her. Moshe claimed in his trial that he had lost control and couldn't explain it.
The Be’er Sheva District Court also sentenced Moshe to an additional two years’ suspended term and to pay 258,000 shekels ($80,700) in compensation, the maximum amount allowed by law.
In reading the sentence, Judge Yael Raz-Levi said that “the admission of facts by the accused was only a formal one. He did not take responsibility for his actions, continuing to hold opinions he expressed during the police investigation, according to which he committed the assault because the victim had ostensibly pushed him to his limit. It’s hard to accept this kind of contrition.” Regarding the abuse of his son, Raz-Levi said that “the harm caused to a minor is very grave, affecting his very soul. The toddler was at the center of the terror and violence, and the accused exploited the toddler’s inability to escape the scene or help his mother.”
Raz-Levi read from the sentence: “Everyone was busy with preparations for a holiday, but suddenly the crying of a baby was heard, with sounds of repeated blows. The plaintiff screamed and pleaded for her life. With her remaining strength she fought to stay alive so that her boy would not remain motherless. The accused whispered, ‘die,’ while choking, stabbing and beating her. A cruel saga of brutal violence that she survived by a miracle."
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Prosecutors had asked for a sentence of 24-27 years. At his conviction last August, the judges rejected his claim that he was not in control of his actions when he assaulted Isakov. “The accused could have stopped, but decided to continue attacking the plaintiff," the court said. It was determined that “most of his testimony attempted to portray the plaintiff in a negative light.”
Moshe asked not to be present at court while Isakov was testifying “because of the coronavirus,” but his request was denied.
In his own testimony, Moshe claimed that he’d “lost it …I can’t explain it, I don’t know what came over me.” When he was asked by his attorney, Alon Davidov, if he had intended to murder Isakov, he said he would never have hurt her.