Adrian James Basham, a man who brutally beat his estranged wife, Samantha Fraser, to death and staged it as a suicide, has been sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum of 30 years to be served.
Ms Fraser’s family cheered as Basham was led out of the Victorian Supreme Court following the sentencing. Ms Fraser, a victim of family violence, had been looking forward to starting a new life.
On July 23, 2018, she returned home after dropping her children off at school and was ambushed by Basham, who had been waiting for more than two hours. He savagely beat her, leaving 41 blunt force injuries, before tying a noose around her neck and hanging her from the garage door.
Justice Lesley Taylor described Basham’s actions as extremely grave.
He had invaded the legal and physical sanctity of Ms Fraser’s home and subjected her to a brutal beating before murdering her.
Basham’s murder of Ms Fraser was motivated by his desire to avoid standing rape trial, as he had been charged with raping her during their marriage in August 2017, and she was due to give evidence against him a week later.
Ms Fraser had left Basham in 2017 after enduring years of domineering and controlling behaviour.
Although she was feeling strong and determined to have her voice heard in court, she was still terrified of him. Despite having an intervention order in place and her parents moving in with her to help protect her, Basham’s presence on the island less than 48 hours before her death had made her more vigilant about her safety.
Ms Fraser’s parents described her as a fiercely loving mother who was the centre of her children’s universe.
Basham’s actions have caused immeasurable damage to Ms Fraser’s family, with her eldest daughter, now a teenager, stating that nothing could compare to the damage he had done to their lives.
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