A man who tried to kill his wife, stabbing her twice as she ate a bowl of cereal while shouting and yelling at her that she was too fat, has escaped jail on cultural grounds.
Navinkumar Patel, 46, from Kansas, USA, pulled out a pocket knife as his wife ate cereal and shouted at her that she was already too fat.
She managed to get away from him and call for help.
When police arrived, Mr Patel took them to another room and admitted that he had stabbed his wife because she was too fat and handed over the weapon he had used.
His wife was taken to hospital and treated for two stab wounds.
Mr Patel pleaded no contest to felony charges of attempted second-degree murder and criminal threat in March 2016 and an evaluation of his mental health was ordered before the sentencing could take place.
During the evaluation it emerged that Mr Patel suffered from bipolar disorder and the illness was aggravated further by his alcohol addiction.
It was also recommended by the doctor who performed the evaluation that if Mr Patel stops drinking and regularly takes his medication, it is less likely that he will offend again.
In a turn of events, his wife turned up to court to support him and has said that she has forgiven him for stabbing her.
His defence lawyer, John Kerns, told the court that his family would be under immense strain and suffer if Patel was sentenced to prison.
Kerns said that if Navinkumar was sent to prison, with him being from the Hindu culture and community, his wife and children would be ‘ostracised.’
Many of Patel’s family members wrote letters to Fairchild, requesting the judge to sentence Patel to probation.
Kerns, described the case as “unusual, to say the least.”
Kerns said, that the family were also willing to ensure that he continues to remain sober and sticks to his medication regimen for his bipolar disorder.
Judge Fairchild addressed one of Patel’s cousins and asked if they can really make sure he will be looked after.
“I think it’s going to take a community to make his sobriety stick,” said Fairchild.
Judge Fairchild completely agreed with Kerns that this specific case is unusual and said: “The cultural part of it is very significant in this case.”
A prison sentence for Patel, he knew would result in further stress on the family.
The District Attorney CJ Rieg argued that a presumptive prison sentence is what Patel’s conviction warrants. However, Fairchild pointed out that the law allows him to depart from those guidelines with ‘substantial and compelling reason.’
On these grounds, Fairchild then sentenced Patel to serve probation with the terms to be set in the next hearing.
“I want the recommendation of the office that’s going to be supervising him before I impose any conditions.”