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Man who killed lover with bottle gets life

AAP logoAAP 21/11/2016

A man who murdered his girlfriend by smashing a bottle over her head and repeatedly punching her during a drunken argument at an oval in Western Australia has been jailed for at least 18 years.

George Thomas Walker, 42, was found guilty by a jury of murdering the 36-year-old woman, who cannot be named for cultural reasons, at Male Oval in Broome in February last year.

The pair had been drinking alcohol with other people before police dispersed the group and Walker later returned to find the woman's two sisters drinking, the WA Supreme Court heard on Monday.

Walker smashed a bottle against a lamppost and threatened them with it before eventually finding his partner and arguing with her.

He then struck her on the head with an empty and unbroken bottle of Jim Beam before punching the woman several times to the top of her head, causing a fatal brain injury.

Justice John Chaney accepted Walker never intended to kill the woman and did not realise the extent of her injuries as he lay down to sleep next to her.

Walker woke up later and walked to the police station for help when he realised something was wrong, but she could not be saved.

Justice Chaney referred to the victim impact statements from the woman's mother and brother, saying they had been left with a deep sense of loss and sadness.

"Your actions have deprived them of a daughter and sister, and the effects of that loss are felt by them on a daily basis," he said.

Justice Chaney noted Walker had spent most of his adult life in prison and his defence counsel described him as being effectively institutionalised.

He also commented that Walker had an "alarming record" of convictions for violent offending, and a long history of alcohol and amphetamine abuse.

"It's clear that your intoxication in this case affected your conduct, although it obviously does not in any way excuse it," he said.

"You pose a serious threat, especially to vulnerable women with whom you form a relationship."

Walker was sentenced to life behind bars with a minimum of 18 years.

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