Extenuate: (often as extenuating adj.) lessen the seeming seriousness of (guilt or an offence) by reference to some mitigating factor.
It's a bit like that story about the man who kills his mother and his father and then pleads for clemency because he is now an orphan! The sentencing hearing of Sydney man Neal Richardson (convicted of murdering his lover before using a power saw to dismember her body) has heard that he suffers from traumatic recollections.
''He's off drugs now. He's sitting in jail with his life ahead of him,'' his barrister told the court, adding there was evidence Richardson felt ''contrition'' and ''remorse''.
After her death (which Richardson claimed happened when Ms Grant hit her head on a coffee table when they fell during an argument) at the house they shared in Malabar (a Sydney suburb), and believing that the police would think he had killed her (as she had been slated to give evidence against him on an assault charge) he disposed of her body on a NSW rural property.
Justice Lucy McCallum adjourned the matter for sentencing on May 11.