SHE woke to find a man holding a knife to her neck with his hand over her mouth and nose.
Maryanne Sinton, 61, had been asleep in her bed in her Woolooga home when she was attacked. But the moment she heard the voice of the man, she knew who it was.
Lia Ah-Sang, then 19, was a friend of her son and she had taken him in when he needed a place to live in 2009.
She had asked him to move out because of his behaviour while he was drunk but they were still close.
They would hug when they saw each other in the street and Ms Sinton even gave him her keys when she went away so he would look after her Alsatian dogs.
But this night, in October, 2010, Ah-Sang was drunk and stoned - having consumed a 750ml bottle of bourbon with his friend, begun a second bottle and smoked marijuana.
Brisbane Supreme Court heard on Tuesday how Ah-Sang stabbed at Ms Sinton but the 61-year-old managed to break free and run to a neighbour for help.
His actions, though, did leave two 3cm wounds to her neck, a 2cm cut to ear lobe, a 3.5cm cut to her cheek and 1cm cuts to her scalp and her finger, the latter when she tried to push the knife away.
The court heard Ah-Sang had been involved in other confrontations the same day, mostly likely due to his intoxication, but his motivation could not be explained.
He did reveal he wanted to disable her so he could carry out "a plan" but did not intend to permanently harm her.
Defence barrister Charlie Bagley said his client's actions did not have a mental health defence but he did suffer from paranoid schizophrenia and alcohol abuse.
"It's clear from observations on that night that he thought people were after him," he said.
Judge David Jackson said the incident had "seriously traumatised" Ms Sinton but noted Ah-Sang's troubled childhood in Samoa, New Zealand and Australia.
Ah-Sang was sentenced to 6.5 years jail. He will be eligible to apply for parole on December 2 this year.
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