• A 23 year old man has been sentenced to eight years in prison after he strangled an Aboriginal mother hours after meeting. (Creative Commons)Source: Creative Commons
A West Australian man will serve at least six years in prison for killing a mother-of-one last March. He initially told police an Indigenous person broke into his house.
2 Jul 2020 - 9:56 AM  UPDATED 2 Jul 2020 - 9:56 AM

A man who strangled a woman hours after a chance meeting in Western Australia's Mid West region has been sentenced to eight years in a WA prison. 

Amos Ryan Gunn, 23, and the 30-year-old woman had been drinking at different locations when they met on a street in the Wheatbelt town of Moora in March last year, the WA Supreme Court heard on Tuesday.

Gunn claimed the mother-of-one, named only as Ms Dann for cultural reasons, was initially "pretty angry" before helping him find his way home, where they had sex. She then had a shower but became irate again.

Ms Dann allegedly swung at Gunn's head with a metal pole. He snatched it off her and held it against her neck.

He mistakenly believed he had killed her and it took him another 15 minutes to call for help, the court heard.

Gunn sent a text message to his flatmate's father, saying: "The chicken is dead, mate. A fox or something got it. I'm not sure how to put it. Sorry."

In another text he wrote: "I've got it under wraps until someone gets home to get rid of the carcass."

In a subsequent phone call, Gunn claimed an Indigenous person broke in and he fatally stabbed them.

The court heard he said that because he was ashamed he slept with her.

When paramedics arrived, Ms Dann was still alive but she died in hospital hours later.

In his victim impact statement, Ms Dann's father referred to violence against women and said his daughter "didn't deserve to die in this way".

"The laughter, hugs, guidance and the opportunity to say, 'I love you', are gone forever. Our family is forever broken," he said.

"My daughter's life was cut short, and was robbed of caring and nurturing her baby boy."

Ms Dann's mother said: "No one deserves death from a hideous crime. That haunts me and my family forever."

Justice Joseph McGrath described the family's grief as extraordinary.

He acknowledged Gunn's actions were in response to Ms Dann's outburst, but said he used excessive self-defence.

Justice McGrath also noted Gunn failed to render assistance immediately, but accepted he panicked because he thought he had killed her and was now remorseful.

In a letter to the court, Gunn said it was never his intention in life to cause so much chaos, grief and loss.

Gunn, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter, will be eligible for parole after serving six years behind bars.


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