Woman pleads guilty to manslaughter
WITH a broomstick as her weapon, Frances Margaret Oram never had the intention to kill Colin Dent.
On Tuesday Justice Duncan McMeekin sentenced Oram to nine years jail with a parole release date of March 24, 2013.
That came after the Crown on Monday accepted her guilty plea to manslaughter ahead of a murder trial set to start that day.
After a jury was empanelled, Oram's defence lawyer, Stephen Kissick, offered the guilty plea.
The court heard that after a day of drinking, Oram attacked Dent with a broomstick in their Mt Morgan home on September 22, 2009.
The frail 60-year-old suffered broken ribs, a fractured sternum, injuries to his head including a blow to his nose and lip, cuts and other bruising as a result of the attack.
After a police investigation, Oram was charged with Dent's murder.
But during Oram's sentencing this week, the court heard there was a lack of intent to cause death and a lethal weapon wasn't used in the attack, but instead a broomstick.
Defence lawyer Stephen Kissick said Dent had threatened to kill Oram earlier in 2009.
He said Oram, who had an extensive history of alcohol abuse, felt very fond of Dent for many years and was upset about the fatal outcome.
A post mortem examination of Dent revealed swelling of the brain had caused his death.
His injuries indicated Oram kicked or stomped him during the attack.
Oram had served about 18 months in custody since Dent's death in 2009.