A man who killed a woman a month after meeting her on a social media networking service has failed in an appeal against his 10-year sentence.
Matthew Shane Dodd, 27, was convicted last year of the unlawful killing of mother-of-four Shannon Pearce, 27, whose decomposed body was found in bushland near Geraldton on Christmas Day, 2010.
A jury accepted Dodd had savagely attacked Ms Pearce, leaving her with horrific injuries including a double fracture of her jaw, a broken nose and missing teeth.
The jury was told it appeared Dodd had attempted to have sex with Ms Pearce, whom he met through the phone-based social media network Divas Chat, despite abusing her physically and verbally as they travelled from Perth to Geraldton.
After she resisted his advances he lashed out, the court heard.
Ms Pearce’s body was found a week after the attack.
Trial judge Justice Henry Wisbey said the unlawful killing was among the most serious of its kind and jailed Dodd for 10 years.
In appealing against the sentence, Dodd argued there was a lack of evidence as to Ms Pearce’s specific cause of death, no weapon or depravity were involved, and the evidence did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that she died as a result of the assault.
On Friday, Justices Robert Mazza and Michael Buss in the WA Court of Appeal decided the sentence was fair.
“The appellant committed an unprovoked and savage attack upon a vulnerable, unarmed and defenceless woman,” Justice Buss said.After the attack, he had demonstrated “callous indifference” to her plight, he said.
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