A man who murdered his partner by repeatedly kicking her in the head and stomach then leaving her in a West Australian shopping centre car park has been sentenced to life in prison.
Les McLarty, 21, was drunk when he murdered 23-year-old Ms Chapman, whose first name is not used for cultural reasons, in Broome in March last year.
McLarty and Ms Chapman had sex behind a bottle shop then argued, the WA Supreme Court heard on Wednesday.
He repeatedly kicked his partner of six years and jumped on her, then left her semi-clothed to die.
Defence counsel Tony Hager described it as a tragedy, saying it was a very sad example of the poisonous effects of alcohol.
He said McLarty did not appreciate the seriousness of Ms Chapman’s injuries at the time but accepted she was a vulnerable victim.
“Through his own actions, he lost the person he loved the most in life,” Mr Hager said.
Justice Lindy Jenkins said McLarty left his partner in a degrading position to be found by passers-by.
“You were very angry with the deceased for an unknown reason,” she said.
“You left her injured and dying on the ground.”
Justice Jenkins said if McLarty had been sober he would have realised Ms Chapman needed medical assistance.
In a victim impact statement, Ms Chapman’s mother said she was sad her daughter would not have the opportunity to have children of her own.
Justice Jenkins noted McLarty had a troubled background of substance abuse and a history of violence against his partner.
“Drinking alcohol (and) using cannabis has got you into a lot of trouble in your life,” she said.
“You are going to be in prison for a long time but when you get out you still have to stay away from those things because they are only going to get you into more trouble.”
Justice Jenkins acknowledged McLarty had a disadvantaged and deprived background, and accepted his time in prison would be more difficult because he would be away from his community.
She also commented that domestic violence against indigenous women was far too common.
McLarty must serve at least 17 years behind bars before he can be eligible for parole.
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