Chief Justice Wayne Martin

A Goldfields teenager "savagely" beaten to death with a metal bar by her boyfriend had a violence restraining order against him when she died.

Jacob Lane, 18, was yesterday jailed for 15 years for murdering 17-year-old Ms Westlake - whose first name cannot be published for cultural reasons - at Cosmo Newberry in December 2012.

After the jury's verdict, the court was told Lane had a "significant history of violence", including previous assaults against Ms Westlake for which he was jailed at 14.

Lane had been with Ms Westlake for at least 24 hours before her death, though Supreme Court Chief Justice Wayne Martin acknowledged neither party had been complying with the restraining order.

On the morning of December 9, 2012, the couple left Cosmo Newberry and walked into bush outside the community.

Family members who were nearby at the time told the court they heard the couple having a heated argument, with Lane shouting phrases such as "come here, I'll kill you".

After the shouting suddenly stopped, Ms Westlake's family went searching for her, eventually discovering her body in the bush.

Lane was nowhere to be seen at the time.

He was found the next morning by community members, who inflicted traditional punishment on the then 17-year-old.

His injuries were so severe he had to be flown to Perth for medical treatment.

Ms Westlake's elder sister yesterday read a victim impact statement to the Kalgoorlie courtroom, her voice trembling as she described the pain of losing her sibling.

"I have lost my baby sister and . . . I was unable to protect her," she said. "I miss not having her around. There is just an empty hole in my heart."

Justice Martin said that it appeared the couple had been arguing for at least an hour before Lane attacked Ms Westlake.

"It was in that context that you (Lane) savagely beat her with a heavy metal bar," he said. "It seems that very little of her body was untouched by you in the course of this vicious assault.

"The beating was one of extraordinary savagery."

Lane's sentence was backdated to December 10, 2012. His earliest release date will be December 10, 2027.


The West Australian

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