A Port Fairy woman charged with murdering her partner after she allegedly stabbed him in the back will be released on bail next Monday to live in Warrnambool.
Justice Paul Coghlan decided in the Supreme Court on Wednesday morning to release Jessica Wilson, 36, from Monday, January 18, when accommodation becomes available in Warrnambool.
Ms Wilson will have to attend the Supreme Court on February 2 for a directions hearing and for judicial monitoring.
She has been in custody for about 16 months since being charged with the murder of her partner Marcus Adams at a Port Fairy caravan park on September 20, 2019.
Justice Coghlan said Ms Wilson stabbed Mr Adams in the back during a domestic dispute and killed him.
He said there would be two issues at trial.
The first - what intent could be proved, as Ms Wilson claims she had no intent to kill or seriously injure Mr Adams.
The second - the defence of self-defence.
Justice Coghlan said it was claimed by Ms Wilson that she had a substantial claim of self-defence and a careful analysis of the sequence of events would need to be carried out.
He said there was no doubt Ms Wilson showed some signs of injury which supported her claim.
The justice said Ms Wilson claimed Mr Adams was armed with a hammer and a hammer was found in the caravan where the incident took place.
He said the question of self-defence could be viewed differently if the prosecution could prove that the first violent act between parties was Ms Wilson arming herself with a knife.
"The issue of self-defence is alive in the proper sense of the conduct of these proceedings," Justice Coghlan said.
The justice said that in a high percentage of cases of single stab wounds there was also the question of intent.
He said the issue of delay due to COVID was not reason alone to exhibit exceptional circumstances which would allow bail to be granted, but in combination with the other factors that threshold had been reached.
However, he said the prosecution claimed it had a relatively strong case.
Justice Coghlan told Ms Wilson he did not suggest it was going to be easy for her to be on bail with strict conditions.
But, he said that if she continued to engage with support services she had a chance to remain on bail.
"I will continue to judicially monitor your performance on bail, and will probably continue to do that," he said.
"If you don't keep to the conditions imposed, bail will be revoked and you will have difficulty in future obtaining bail."
Ms Wilson said: "I understand your honour."
Her bail conditions include that she resides at a Warrnambool address, obey a 6pm to 9am curfew, present at her front door during curfew hours when police attend, not use alcohol or illicit drugs, provide a sample of her breath or oral fluid on police request, not contact witnesses in the case, not leave Victoria or points of international departure and attend at the Supreme Court for judicial monitoring at 9.30am on February 2.
Justice Coghlan found that Ms Wilson was not an unacceptable risk of further offending, flight or a danger to the community.
He said she also had additional motivation to reconnect with her mother and her own daughter.
The court heard from Sarah Shepherd from Women's Housing Limited who said she had been in contact with Ms Wilson "three or four times".
She said temporary accommodation was available from January 18 for up to eight weeks and support could be provided in Warrnambool by Salvos Connect and Brophy Family and Youth Services to address any mental health and/or drug issues.
She said she had extremely positive engagement with Ms Wilson, who she described as forthcoming, honest and eager to identify her support needs.
"She's been quite lovely to engage with," she said.
But, Justice Coghlan said none of those support services were in place and one would be foolish to say Ms Wilson was not a risk while on bail.
He put in place judicial monitoring to address his concerns, which would give him an idea where Ms Wilson was at with addressing her issues.
It's expected that on February 2 Ms Wilson will attend at the Supreme Court via a video link with Warrnambool court.
"We'll see if things are in place and I will consider the continuation of bail ," he said.
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.