A drunk man who murdered his partner by kicking and stomping on her head and body before leaving her fatally injured at the back of a Broome shopping centre has been jailed for life.
Les McLarty, 21, was “significantly intoxicated” when he killed Ms Chapman, whose first name is not published for cultural reasons, on March 17 last year.
Ms Chapman’s battered and semi-naked body was found in the Paspaley Plaza carpark the next morning.
A Supreme Court sentencing hearing was told that McLarty and Ms Chapman, 23, had been in a relationship for six years and had been drinking at an oval before leaving to have sex in a stairwell behind a bottle shop.
Afterwards, an argument broke out between the pair, during which McLarty jumped on Ms Chapman’s head with the heel of his foot and kicked her while she was on the ground.
McLarty then went home and left Ms Chapman to die, with passers-by finding her in what Justice Lindy Jenkins described as a “degrading position”.
Justice Jenkins found McLarty, who was convicted of murder after a trial, did not intend to kill Ms Chapman, of Port Hedland, but did intend to cause a life-endangering injury.
“You violently killed your young partner for no reason other than you were angry with her for some reason you are now apparently not even able to remember,” she said. “The victim was a vulnerable person who should have expected you to look after her and protect her.”
Justice Jenkins said she had no doubt that had McLarty been sober, he would have known his partner was seriously injured and needed help.
Defence lawyer Tony Hager said his client, who had been convicted on four previous occasions of assaulting Ms Chapman, accepted responsibility for her death and was sorry for the hurt he had caused.
“Through his own actions, he has lost the person he loved most in his life,” Mr Hager said.
In a victim impact statement, Ms Chapman’s mother said she was sad that her daughter did not have the chance to have children.
Justice Jenkins commented that drunken violence against indigenous women by their partners was far too common.
McLarty will have to serve 17 years behind bars before he is eligible for parole.
This article originally appeared on The West Australian.