Teen's unimaginable grief at mum's murder

·3-min read

Standing at a flagpole at school waiting for their mother, Samantha Fraser's three children were initially confused when she didn't arrive to pick them up.

That confusion gave way to unimaginable trauma, grief and anger when they realised she would never be there again because their father, who should have loved them, destroyed their lives by ending hers.

A psychologist, Ms Fraser was full of ideas for helping young people deal with trauma.

Adrian James Basham created that trauma for his three children, then aged five, seven and nine, when he killed their mother.

Ms Fraser's eldest daughter, now a teen, read a heartbreaking statement to the Victorian Supreme Court on Monday, revealing it was nauseating knowing that despite the limitless love her mum had for others, she was still killed.

"I have spent the past four months writing and crossing out words that will never compare to the damage this man, Adrian James Basham, has done to our lives, my life," she said.

"He murdered my mum. He took Sammy's life and in doing so destroyed so many others."

She spoke of the cruel comments from classmates including a child who asked "What if (she) goes psycho just like her dad and kills us?".

She said she wanted to speak in court to get justice for her mother, for her friends and family and for herself.

"I am here today to show people that I am a fighter and we will get justice for mum," she said.

Ms Fraser's youngest daughter, now only nine, said Basham had taken the best part of her heart away.

"(Mum) will always be the angel that lights up my sky," she said.

Ms Fraser's mother Janine told the court on Monday she didn't want to give Basham the satisfaction of seeing how he had hurt the family irreparably, as he had promised to do before, but the heartbreak they felt was profound and unrelenting.

She said her daughter read about a domestic homicide in a newspaper and told her mum that would be her.

"Make sure you don't let him get away with it," she said Ms Fraser told her.

Basham was found guilty in April of murdering Ms Fraser in her home on July 23, 2018. He had been charged months earlier with raping his estranged wife.

Prosecutors said evidence showed Basham lay in wait before assaulting Ms Fraser in her garage, before putting a rope around her neck and arranging the scene to look like a suicide.

The murder was not pre-meditated, his barrister Ashley Halphen argued in a pre-sentence hearing in the Victorian Supreme Court on Monday.

But Justice Lesley Taylor challenged the submission finding he at least intended to assault her.

"Ms Fraser had taken so many steps to ensure complete separation from Mr Basham and on the evidence she was petrified of him," she said.

"And he knew that."

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