A Perth judge has asked what more was needed to highlight the "explosive violence" associated with drugs as he heard details of the horrific murder of a 24-year-old man at a friend's family home.
Supreme Court Justice Eric Heenan commented as he set a sentencing date for Sam Jacob Walker and Jonathan Robert Lee over the violent death of David Houston at a South Fremantle home on May 12.
Justice Heenan said the horrific crime, which had seen the pair choke and beat Mr Houston to death while under the influence of drugs, would strike even the "most seasoned" observers of the criminal courts.
He said the case highlighted the "explosive violence" associated with a lifestyle of drugs.
"What more can possibly be said to bring home to people the... destruction, grief and horror that looms over this lifestyle," the judge said.
The court heard that Walker and Lee, who have pleaded guilty to murder, had been consuming drugs on May 12 before Mr Houston, who was also allegedly linked to drugs, had come to Walker's family home. Walker's parents were not home at the time.
Walker had been affected by drugs including cannabis when he decided to kill Mr Houston after he became angry at comments Mr Houston allegedly made about a woman carrying Mr Houston's child and who was also a friend of Walker.
The court heard detail of how Walker had tried to choke his victim before Lee, who had taken crystal meth, "joined in" by striking Mr Houston and choking him.
Lee had not met Mr Houston before.
The court heard Mr Houston, who had found out he was to be a father the day before his death, suffered injuries consistent with neck compression and had been choked or strangled with rope, an extension cord, a necklace and a t-shirt.
His body was doused with acid and buried in a shallow grave north of Bunbury after the pair hired a ute.
Today, lawyers for both men described how their clients had grown up with supportive, good families but had slipped in and out of drug use during their lives and were remorseful for their crime.
Lee had written a letter to the court outlining how he could not understand his actions and was reminded every day that he had taken an innocent man's life.
He could only surmise he must have acted out of shock or fear after finding Walker attacking Mr Houston in the bathroom, he said in the letter.
Prosecutor James Mactaggart said a victim impact statement from Mr Houston's family expressed their grief over such a malicious death.
"It all comes down to the pain (he)... possibly endured before his cruel death," the statement said. "We find ourselves asking what the world is coming to."The men will be sentenced on December 19.
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