A man was convicted Wednesday of attempting to murder his then-wife in front of their toddler son, in an incident that shocked the country last year and has seen the victim become a champion of awareness for domestic violence.
In a legal precedent, the Beersheba District Court also convicted Aviad Moshe of abusing the couple’s infant son, then a year and a half old, by repeatedly stabbing and beating wife Shira Isakov in front of him.
Moshe was charged last October with stabbing Isakov 20 times, hitting her with a rolling pin and strangling her on the eve of the Rosh Hashanah holiday on September 18 in their home in the southern town of Mitzpe Ramon.
Isakov was critically injured in the assault and underwent emergency surgery at Beersheba’s Soroka Medical Center. Since then she has undergone multiple procedures to rebuild her face.
The couple has since divorced.
“The crime of attempted murder was proven above all reasonable doubt,” Judge Yael Raz-Levi said, dismissing Moshe’s defense that he hadn’t intended to kill Isakov as “empty words.”
Isakov, who attended the hearing, said she was happy and relieved with the ruling.
“I was shaking when I arrived, [now] there’s immense relief. I haven’t resumed breathing yet. I still have to digest this,” Isakov told reporters. “We’ll see what happens at the sentencing. I expect the maximum punishment on all the crimes.
“It’s good that they acknowledged the boy has been mentally harmed. He only resumed speaking after 11 months. To women who are afraid to complain, I say: Have the courage. That isn’t an easy place to be.”
In June, police handed over evidence to prosecutors that Moshe had made additional threats, telling his parents he wanted another prisoner to use his ties to the criminal underworld to threaten Isakov, or even harm her.
In February, Moshe presented his defense, in which he admitted he had assaulted Isakov but claimed he did not intend to kill her. He said she had provoked him, causing him to lose control of himself and attack her.
Moshe also asked for the dismissal of the charge of abusing their baby on the grounds that he assaulted his wife in front of him, as such a charge has never been used before.
Isakov has been lauded for her efforts to raise awareness of domestic violence.
She and a neighbor who saved her from her husband were both honored in April at the official torch-lighting ceremony held annually at the start of Independence Day.