Davey argues for shorter jail term

Gayle Woodford's killer will challenge the length of his jail sentence in a SA appeal court.

Gayle Woodford's killer will challenge the length of his jail sentence in a SA appeal court.

The man who killed beloved outback nurse Gayle Woodford has argued for a reduction in his 32-year minimum jail sentence.

Dudley Davey, 35, came before the Court of Criminal Appeal in Adelaide on Thursday with defence counsel Nick Vadasz arguing his client was not given enough discount on his non-parole period for his guilty plea to murder.

Mr Vadasz said in its sentencing legislation, state parliament intended for offenders to get a 30 per cent discount for early guilty pleas.

He said the discount applied in Davey's case was closer to 8.5 per cent.

Mr Vadasz said that was against a background that offenders, in such circumstances, had an expectation that a much greater discount would be applied.

He also told the court that the 35-year starting point for Davey's non-parole period, before any discount was applied, placed it in a "rarified area" with only two other sentences above 30 years imposed in murder cases where there had been a guilty plea.

But prosecutor Ian Press said it was within the sentencing judge's discretion not to allow the full discount and the 32-year period was within an acceptable range given the seriousness of the offending.

The Crown previously argued that a lesser sentence would have "shocked the public conscience".

Davey pleaded guilty to both the rape and murder of 56-year-old Ms Woodford, who was found buried in a crude grave three days after she went missing from her home in Fregon, in the state's north, in March last year.

The court is expected to reserve its decision.

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