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Another decade behind bars for domestic violence murder

"I FLOGGED her, but I love her...I know I am going away for a long time...just save her."

With those words, a Ballina man's toxic relationship with his battered girlfriend reached a bitter end as police failed to bring her broken body back from his final blow.

Jermaine Bolt, 27, will spend at least the next decade behind bars for the murder of Tanya Murray, whose life was cut short on the night of her 29th birthday, in October 2011.

Disturbing excerpts from Bolt's sentencing hearing, published over the weekend, reveal the former Coffs couple were drinking heavily when a series of arguments culminated with a closed-fist punch to Ms Murray's jaw which caused her to fall back and hit her head.

As blood seeped from her mouth and soaked her hair, a frantic Bolt phoned 000 and told the operator he had hit Ms Murray and she was "going to die".

When police arrived, Bolt, who was "plainly panicked" and dressed only in pair of shorts, ran to the car covered in blood and pleaded with the officers to help resuscitate his girlfriend.

Inside, Ms Murray was lying on the floor next to her bed, her entire body was covered in bruises and her eyes were swollen shut.

The walls of the room were covered in "smeared blood" and there was a hole in the far wall.

After attempts at resuscitating Ms Murray failed, Bolt was taken to the police station where he tried to convince officers her injuries were a result of "rough sex".

Justice Stephen Rothman later noted that while there had been a momentary attempt at diverting responsibility, Bolt had shown remorse at the scene and genuinely wanted Ms Murray to live.

He took into account Bolt's troubled childhood, which the court heard had been marred by domestic violence and neglect.

He said that even though he did not believe that even at the "height of the attack", did Bolt want Ms Murray to die, general deterrence and protection of society needed to be considered.

Bolt was sentenced to a total of 18 years jail with a non-parole period of 12 years.

As the sentence was backdated to October, 2011, Bolt will be eligible for parole in October, 2023.

Topics:  ballina domestic violence murder


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