Violent criminal history revealed as man convicted of murder

A MAN who brutally murdered his partner at the height of the 2011 flood disaster has had his violent and lengthy criminal past revealed for the first time in court during his sentencing.

Ronald Michael Craig, 49, was found guilty after a two-day trial in March of murdering Kylie Hitchen, 35, during the early hours on January 22, 2011, in the kitchen of the their home in Esk.

The court heard Craig had slashed Ms Hitchen's throat with such force it completely severed her carotid arteries, windpipe, esophageus and left significant gouge marks on two of her vertebrae.

Craig told police after his arrest he had "cut her throat like a loaf of bread."

Crown Prosecutor Ben Power told the Brisbane Supreme Court on Wednesday  it was not the first time Craig had been convicted of killing a person.

"On November, 8, 1995, in Darwin, he along with his brother and sister were involved in a violent home invasion," he said.

"They kicked down the door of a unit and inflicted significant violence against the two people inside after a third managed to escape.

"Craig chased down the third person and hit him over the head with a hammer before stabbing him six times with a knife he was also carrying.

"The stab wounds were superficial and the man survived the attack."

Mr Power said what happen next could only be described as bizarre.

"A neighbour who heard the commotion confronted Craig in the stairwell of the unit complex as he was trying to flee," he said.

"He was subsequently stabbed and later died.

"After his arrest he told police the two men had struggled in the stairwell, stumbled to the ground and the man was inadvertently stabbed.

"Ultimately the Northern Territory police believed his version of events.

"He was sentenced to 12 years in jail, but was released on parole after serving seven years."

Defence barrister Richard Taylor told the court Craig had a very disrupted upbringing and was regularly beaten at the hands of his father.

"He has been treated for anxiety and depression and the trial was delayed when he took an overdose of his medication in jail," he said.

"This crime no doubt occurred in the heat of the moment and was in no way premeditated.

"In relation to his criminal history, well, that speaks for itself."

Justice David Jackson said in sentencing Craig to mandatory life behind bars he had considered extending the non-parole period of 15-years but decided against it.

However, he decided not to set a parole eligibility date despite taking into account the 1185 days Craig had already served behind bars.

"This was a savage and brutal attack which led to the death of your partner," he said.

"From what I can tell you have shown absolutely no remorse for your actions."


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