A flying bowl of kangaroo meat sparked a brawl that left a 22-year-old West Australian woman dead and another facing a three-year jail term, as well as tribal punishment when she is released from prison.

Rita Holland, 38, was jailed for the manslaughter of her niece Tina Dawson, who died in January 2012 after having her jugular vein cut by a 15cm kitchen knife during a drunken brawl.

Western Australia's Supreme Court was told the tragedy unfolded after Holland, her daughter Amelia Westlake and Ms Dawson travelled together to the remote Goldfields community of Warburton from Kalgoorlie.

Having drunk large amounts of alcohol and smoked cannabis on the journey, the trio arrived at the Wongatha Wonganarra community and continued to drink while eating cooked kangaroo.

After a drunken argument erupted, the bowl of meat was thrown by Ms Dawson, which sparked a furious fight among the three women.

As Holland and Ms Dawson grappled on the verandah, the knife was handed to Holland who made stabbing motions in an attempt to scare her niece.

Justice Michael Corboy said he accepted Holland had not intended to kill or seriously injure her niece but sought only to frighten the younger woman with the blade.

But her level of intoxication meant she was not in full control of the knife, and rather than stabbing her shoulder, she made contact with Ms Dawson's lower neck, severing the jugular.

Ms Dawson died in hospital less than two hours later.

After Holland fled the scene, police found her early the next morning being pursued by an armed mob made up of members of the dead woman's family.

They intended to carry out tribal punishment on Holland, as they had on her daughter.

Justice Corboy said Holland was anxious to undergo the punishment so she could reconcile with Ms Dawson's family.

Holland was jailed for three years and four months and made eligible for parole. She will have to serve at least 20 months in prion, backdated to January 2012, before she can be released.

 

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