A MAN who brutally raped and murdered a popular Gladstone woman has been sentenced to life in prison.
Grant Westley Meredith pleaded guilty at Rockhampton Supreme Court today to rape and murder as well as two counts of possessing child exploitation material.
Meredith, now 33, murdered Kathryn “Kat” Louise Daley, who would be 24 this year, on February 16, 2008.
Crown prosecutor Brendan Campbell said he bound her hands, raped her and slit her throat.
Kat and her friends went to the Players International Nightclub for a night of fun, leaving at 4am.
She was going to meet her friends at the Mobil 24 hour service station but she never arrived at her destination.
Kat’s parents Sue and Tony Daley reported their daughter missing on February 17.
Queensland Rail workers found her body in bushland off Meegan Road, Callemondah about 1pm the following day.
Kat was wearing clothes but her underwear had been removed.
A bra strap found at the murder scene would later provide police with a vital link between Kat and her killer.
Police then executed a search warrant of Meredith’s home on May 3, finding the bra strap in a bag of women’s clothing.
They also found her credit card, driver’s licence, a bloodied knife and a bag of sex toys during the search.
In addition, police located thousands of hard copy images as well as computer images and videos of children aged six-months-old to 15-years-old depicted in sexual activity.
When police questioned Meredith he made admissions but said he could only remember flashbacks of the incident.
Meredith has been in custody for 998 days.
Justice Duncan McMeekin sentenced Meredith to 12 years imprisonment for Kat’s rape and life for her murder as well as two years for the two counts of possessing child exploitation material.
“What you did was horrifying … (it was) the brutal murder of a lovely young woman trying to enjoy her life,” he said.
After the sentence was handed down, Kat’s father Tony Daley yelled “You low life scumbag”.
Mr Daley and his wife Sue, Kat’s mother, then faced the media scrum outside the courthouse, wearing sunglasses to shield themselves from the ever-so-hard questions.
“There is no closure. The sentence is never harsh enough. We have to live with this for the rest of our lives,” Mr Daley said.
Mr Daley said they would spread Kat’s ashes at the Boyne Crematorium on February 5.
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