Wife killer loses battle to keep home

Adrian Basham was sentenced to life in prison over the ‘heinous’ murder of his estranged wife. Picture: Supplied.
Adrian Basham was sentenced to life in prison over the ‘heinous’ murder of his estranged wife. Picture: Supplied.

Wife-killer Adrian Basham has failed in a legal bid to keep the home he murdered Samantha Fraser in.

Basham returned before the Supreme Court on Tuesday morning as Justice Lesley Taylor ruled against him and approved the confiscation.

Victoria’s Director of Public Prosecutions had applied to the court to seize the Cowes property on Phillip Island in Victoria, arguing it is tainted because Basham murdered his estranged wife there.

In her ruling, Justice Taylor said the estranged couple were joint tenants, but after Ms Fraser’s death Basham became the sole owner of the $545,000 house.

***ID CONFIRMED*** MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - Newswire Photos February 27, 2023: Adrian Basham, who was found guilty of murdering his ex wife, Samantha Fraser, on Phillip Island, making the scene look like she had taken her own life, arrives in custody to Melbourne Supreme Court via the rear laneway. Picture: NCA NewsWire
Adrian Basham’s murder of Samantha Fraser was described as the ‘ultimate act of family violence’. Picture: NCA NewsWire

Arguing against the seizure application, Basham had stated he needed to retain ownership to help pay his legal bills.

Following Justice Taylor’s decision, Basham appeared annoyed and began to ask questions about how he could retrieve property located within the house.

“The property within that house remains my property,” he said.

“What can I do about getting access or getting hold of that property?”

Justice Taylor responded that was not something she could assist with, suggesting he, or a family member, contact the police officer who had led the murder investigation, Detective Sergeant Luke Farrell,

A black Kawasaki motorcyclist used by Basham to travel to Ms Fraser’s home was also seized.

Applause rang out in the Supreme Court in February as the 46-year-old was sentenced to life imprisonment for the “objectively heinous” crime.

Adrian Basham. Picture: Supplied
Adrian Basham. Picture: Supplied
Samantha Fraser. Picture: Supplied
Samantha Fraser. Picture: Supplied

“Your decision to execute Samantha Fraser, a woman who had found the courage to defy you, keep her children safe from you and live a life free from you, was cold,” Justice Taylor said.

“It was the ultimate act of family violence … Further, you are utterly without remorse.”

The pair had separated a year earlier due to Basham’s abuse, with Ms Fraser telling friends before her death that she was “feeling stronger and looking forward to a new life”.

Ms Fraser was found dead in her garage on July 23, 2018, the day after her 38th birthday, after the alarm was raised when she failed to pick her children up at school.

Basham had been lying in wait for her to arrive home from dropping the children to school, pouncing about 11am as she pulled in.

He savagely beat her, hanging her from the garage mechanism and staging the scene to look like she had taken her own life.

Basham was sentenced to life in jail with a minimum non-parole period of 30 years.