The best friend of a lawyer who was allegedly killed by her partner at a luxurious Perth hotel says she voiced concerns about the woman’s welfare.
Family lawyer Alice McShera, 34, was found dead in a hotel room at Crown Towers in Burswood on Monday morning.
Cameron John Pearson, 42, was allegedly found at the scene with self-inflicted wounds and has been charged with her murder.
The couple reportedly met when he was a client at the boutique family law practice she worked at, Nine reports.
Ms McShera’s friend Elsa Constant said she had become concerned about her friend in recent weeks and had reached out.
“If your friends tell you that they are concerned about you, please go and see someone,” she said.
On her Facebook page on Sunday, Ms McShera thanked her best friend for organising the hotel stay, telling her friends that she was “spending the night before (her) next surgery … drinking Dom (Perignon champagne), watching old DVDs and loving life”.
Ms Constant said she was still in shock over her friend’s death, adding she would have had a long and successful career ahead.
“I go from completely numb to hysterical because I didn’t think this would happen,” she said.
When asked what her impression of Mr Pearson was, she said: “All I know is for me he’s always been somebody who had a kind heart and a gentle soul.”
“She had so much potential she would have been a judge or senior counsel.”
WA Police Inspector Geoff Desanges told media on Tuesday that Crown security staff checked on the hotel room after receiving a call from a concerned family member.
“A family member who was seeking to get hold of one of the people in that room had spoken to Crown Towers,” he said.
“We’re still to identify the full circumstances of the relationship and what brought about the events of (Monday).”
Ms McShera allegedly suffered head injuries consistent with a “blunt instrument”.
“There appears to have been a passage of time between the woman being injured and police being called to the hotel,” Inspector Desanges said.
Ms McShera was based at the Murray Chambers in Perth.
Her profile said she was “an experienced advocate who appears and advises as counsel in all family law and restraining orders matters”.
Before commencing practice as an independent barrister, Ms McShera practised as a senior associate in a boutique family law firm and, prior to that, was a legal associate to a WA Family Court judge for four years.
The Perth legal community paid tribute to Ms McShera, urging people to remember her for the impact she had on many lives.
Murray Chambers said everyone had been left “deeply shocked at the terrible news regarding our respected and much-loved colleague and friend”.
“Alice was an experienced and very capable advocate who has been an integral part of the Murray Chambers family,” the statement said.
“The profession will be the poorer for her loss. We feel keenly for Alice’s family and friends at this time.”
Clement & Co Family and Criminal Lawyers said they were “deeply shocked and saddened” while extending their condolences to her colleagues at Murray Chambers.
“A life senselessly taken in unimaginable circumstances,” they said in a statement posted to Facebook.
“Let us remember Alice not for the tragic circumstances of her passing but for the positive impact she had on so many lives.
“We extend our heartfelt condolences to Alice’s family, friends and colleagues at Murray Chambers. We share in their grief and offer our unwavering support during this difficult time.”
Keegan Family Lawyers described Ms McShera as a “strong, powerful” woman and an “amazing barrister and lawyer”.
“You fought for those who couldn’t fight for themselves,” they said in a post to Facebook on Tuesday.
“You were a friend, a colleague and someone to aspire to. I cannot believe you have been taken from us.
“I am so sorry your life has been cut short by such heinous acts of violence.”
Anti-domestic violence organisation White Ribbon Australia said Ms McShera was the 43rd woman to die this year due to alleged violence.
Chief executive Melissa Perry said the time for silence and indifference had passed.
“As a nation, we need to be doing more to change this unacceptable set of statistics,“ she said.
“We also need to recognise that this won’t happen without greater investment across all areas of the family domestic violence and abuse sector.
“This includes primary prevention strategies and education campaigns to stop violence before it starts, behaviour change programs for men who have chosen to use violence, and victim-survivor support services.”
Mr Pearson, represented by solicitor Reid Hogan, was wearing a white forensic jumpsuit and was unshaven when he faced Perth Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
He had to be repeatedly asked if he understood the charge of murder against him.
The Bibra Lake man was remanded in custody to face Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court on November 22.