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Family tell court how losing Morissa shattered their lives

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Morissa Moniz, 28, was killed during a domestic incident (File photograph)

The family of a woman stabbed to death by her boyfriend described how her death shattered their lives.

Loved ones of Morissa Moniz, 28, attended the Supreme Court yesterday during the hearing of Anthony Davis, who pleaded guilty last month to her murder.

Patty Moniz, Ms Moniz’s mother, said in a victim impact statement that she felt compelled to forgive Davis, 38, because of her Christian faith – but knew she would struggle with her loss for the rest of her life.

She said: “I miss my pride and joy. I miss her voice, her smile, and miss hugging her each time we got together, especially at lunchtime.”

Ms Moniz added: “How could you forgive someone who destroyed part of your life?”

The court heard that the couple returned to their Smith’s home in the early hours on November 11, 2021 and were caught on their CCTV cameras having an argument.

Ms Moniz was heard several times telling Davis to get off of her, while Davis said: “You’re dead tonight, today is your last night of freedom, so f*** you – this is what death looks like.”

At 2.39am, about 25 minutes after arriving home, Ms Moniz placed two calls to 911.

The first call disconnected, but in the second call, Ms Moniz told dispatchers: “Help me, I’m at 22 Clarendon Road, my boyfriend’s trying to kill me.”

She said on the call that she had locked herself in the bathroom and later warned that Davis had broken in with a knife.

The court heard that CCTV cameras caught Davis grabbing two knives from the kitchen and breaking into the bathroom.

He later chased her throughout the house while Ms Moniz bled out and screamed for Davis to stop.

Officers arrived at the residence and found Ms Moniz and Davis laying on the floor near the front door.

Ms Moniz was declared dead at the scene, while Davis, who was also bleeding, was taken to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.

Ms Moniz had been stabbed 17 times, with the cause of death linked to a puncture wound to her heart.

Anthony Davis pleads guilty to murder (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Patty Moniz wrote that every happy moment shared with her family had been weighed down by guilt since the incident.

She said that every gathering felt like “a cup of water not quite to the rim" and that she would struggle to fill the hole in her heart left by her daughter.

Ms Moniz said that Davis’s actions destroyed both her family and his own – something that she later hoped he would remember while in prison.

Morris Moniz, Ms Moniz’s father, said in a statement that it would be impossible to describe what she meant to those who loved her.

“She was our oxygen,” he wrote in his victim impact statement. “We will never have the pleasure of hearing Rissa’s voice, feeling her hugs and kisses, seeing her beautiful smile or seeing her infectious laugh.”

Mr Moniz wrote how “even the smallest things” reminded him and his family of their loss, such as songs or television programmes.

He said that the tragedy had made him vengeful and filled him with hate. He added that he did not believe his daughter’s murderer deserved a second chance at life.

He said: “I hope that every day that he spends in jail feels like an eternity and may he be constantly haunted by his actions.”

Mr Moniz added: “Anthony has left a hole in our hearts that will never be filled.

“Anthony has crushed so many hearts, destroyed so many hopes and dreams.

“It is impossible to find the words that could begin to explain the true depth of our pain.”

Regina Smith, the aunt of Ms Moniz, wrote in her victim impact statement that it was “extremely painful” to think that her niece was killed by someone she loved.

She said: “Thoughts of her being stabbed to death, while she had nothing but her voice to defend herself, causes our heart to ache.

“This horrendous act has affected our entire family.

“We have to walk around every day wondering how long she was conscious and how long did she suffer.”

Ms Smith said that Ms Moniz loved her family and was always the life of the party but had left “an empty seat at our family table”.

She added that her niece had longed for a wedding and starting her own family – neither of which she nor her family would get to enjoy.

Ms Smith said that the family had since sought counselling and recognised that, no matter how Davis was sentenced, it would not bring Ms Moniz back.

Davis told the family that he was deeply remorseful for inflicting such a “terrible pain” on them.

He held back tears as he said: “I want you to know that I regret my actions.

“I was supposed to protect her, even from myself, and I didn’t.”

Davis added: “I wish to ask for your forgiveness but I haven’t been able to forgive myself.

“There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t miss Morissa. She was my best friend and I miss her every day.”

Puisne Judge Shade Subair-Williams adjourned the case until tomorrow for sentencing.

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