A man has been jailed for nine years for the manslaughter of his former partner Leeann Lapham in far north Queensland in 2010, after a court heard the pair argued over an empty bacon packet.
Police last month discovered Ms Lapham’s remains during a search of dense bushland at Cowley Beach, 20 minutes south of Innisfail.
Her former partner, 43-year-old Graeme Evans, pleaded guilty to her manslaughter and interference with a corpse on February 28 in the Supreme Court in Cairns.
Ms Lapham, 30, was last seen at the Riverside Motel in Innisfail on April 19, 2010.
Her three-week-old son was left in the room, but Ms Lapham was missing.
The Supreme Court in Townsville was told today, the pair had gotten into an argument over an empty bacon packet prior to Ms Lapham’s death.
The court heard during a struggle between the two, Evans punched Ms Lapham in the head several times, leading to her death.
At a hearing in February, Evans’ legal team said he had given information to police that related to the location of Ms Lapham’s remains.
Forensic officers then conducted a thorough exhumation of her remains.
Daughter’s death leaves hole in mother’s heart
In a victim impact statement, Kerry Johnson told the Townsville court her daughter’s death had turned her life upside down.
She said Ms Lapham had been a beautiful and bubbly girl with a bright personality and her daughter’s death had left a hole in her heart.
Prosecutors urged Justice David North to jail Evans for nine years with no parole eligibility date.
The prosecution told the court Evans had dumped Ms Lapham’s naked body, showing a complete lack of respect and dignity, but it had been mitigated by his cooperation with police to locate her remains.
In sentencing, Justice North said Ms Lapham’s death had been senseless.
“You started with brutality, deception and lies … but recently you’ve shown cooperation with the authorities,” Justice North said.
Evans was arrested in February 2017, three months after police excavated a car yard he had previously owned.
At the time, police said the charges came after revisiting evidence that had been gathered in 2010.