03/02/2016 8:32 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Sydney Mother Allegedly Murdered By Her Partner Is The Fourth Australian Woman To Be Killed This Year


Sydney woman Sharon Michelutti was found dead in her bedroom on Monday.

The man she has reportedly been with since she was 14-years-old went to the local police station to report the mother-of-five tried to kill herself.

Gavin Debeyer has since been arrested and police have charged him with murder.

As the case has been adjourned until March, Debeyer is not guilty of killing his partner, so it’s tricky to rule the death a case of domestic violence.

But Sharon Michelutti is the fourth Australian woman to be murdered in 2016. And this is the third time a man has been charged with the murder (police are still on the hunt for one slain woman's murderer or murderers).

On the panel of Q&A on Monday, Australian of the Year David Morrison said “it’s not about the statistics, it’s about the lives that are being taken and damaged here”.

So here are the names of the women whose lives have been taken by violence in the first five weeks of 2016, and the first noted by Counting Dead Women Australia researchers from Destroy The Joint:

Karen Chetcuti

In January, Karen Chetcuti was allegedly murdered by her neighbour Michael Cardamone after popping over to his place to buy a punnet of tomatoes.

She didn’t show up for work one day at the Wangarratta local council -- where she'd worked for twenty years -- in Victoria’s south east. Six days later her body was found in scrub near Lake Buffalo and her burnt car was discovered 20 kilometres away.

It was her teenage son's birthday that day.

On Tuesday he, his sister, and 1000 people in the town of Whoroughly farewelled a woman “with an infectious smile”, according to her good friend.

Karen Chetcuti was much loved in the small country community, first moving there from the city to run the local pub. Not long before she died, the mother of two raised $20,000 for the local football club change rooms.

Valeria Fermendjin

Two weeks earlier, Valeria Fermendjin was killed in her Perth home.

At 70 years old, she was still running an ironing business. The last time she was seen was around 7:30am, picking up a basket of washing from a client.

Police believe the grandmother of two was attacked by burglars in her Melville home. Two days later, she was found by her daughter, Violeta, who was too distraught to talk at a press conference appealing for information about the murder.

Speaking on her behalf at the press conference, a family friend said: "this has been devastating - nobody deserves this."

"Somebody must have seen something - we just want to see justice done."


Police have not revealed the name of this woman for legal reasons, but four days after Karen Chetcuti was murdered, this 39-year-old woman was killed in a small Aboriginal community in Western Australia after an argument with a 46-year-old man turned violent, with the injuries she sustained during the altercation killing her.

Eric Evans, the man charged with her murder, will appear in Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court in Perth on Wednesday.

Sharon Michelutti

Neighbours told The Sydney Morning Herald it was common to hear screams coming from 13 Kentucky Road in Riverwood, with police often turning up to the home in south Sydney.

The home was turned into a crime scene on Monday when Sharon Michelutti was found dead.

The mother of five had a young family, her Facebook feed full of photos of her children.

On Monday, her eldest son arrived home to find a crime scene. Police had to hold him down as he attempted to break through the crime scene tape.

"I just want to see my mum," he reportedly screamed.

"Is she still in there? My dad killed her, didn't he?"