A Queensland man has been sentenced to nine years behind bars—and is eligible for parole in four—for brutally bashing and killing his partner and dumping her body in bushland.
Appearing in the Townsville Supreme Court on Wednesday, Graeme Colin Evans was sentenced for the manslaughter of his partner, 30-year-old mother-of-one Leeann Lapham, and for interfering with her corpse.
The court heard how Ms Lapham had arrived back at their room at the Riverside Motel in Innisfail in 2010 and had found an empty bacon packet and knife left in the sink, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
The pair argued, and during a struggle, Evans punched his partner in the head repeatedly so hard that he felt her "skull give way".
The court heard that after going out for a smoke, Evans returned to find the new mum dead. On April 19, 2010, he dumped Ms Lapham’s body in dense north Queensland bushland.
“You took your time after you beat her senseless, then gathered her body and disposed of her naked, depriving her of the opportunity of a funeral and a burial,” Justice David North said in court.
“You disposed of her clothes in a different position and then you set about telling the police and everyone else a lie about what had happened.”
Evans did not mean to kill his partner, the court heard.
As ABC News reports, Ms Lapham’s body was found last month at Cowley Beach after Evans gave police information about the location of her remains.
During sentencing, Justice North noted the senselessness of Evan’s actions but acknowledged that he had recently cooperated with police and shown remorse.
The 43-year-old will be eligible for parole after he has served four years of his nine-year sentence.
Evans' lawyer, Phil Rennick, told the ABC his client thought the sentence was fair.
"He's looking forward to doing his time — once he's released he will go on to looking after his son,” Rennick said.