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  • Unreported Judgment

R v Storie

 

[2018] QSC 298

 

SUPREME COURT OF QUEENSLAND

 

CITATION:

R v Storie [2018] QSC 298

PARTIES:

R
(plaintiff)
v
STORIE, Steven Murray
(defendant)

FILE NO:

SC No 489 of 2017

DIVISION:

Trial Division

PROCEEDING:

Sentence

ORIGINATING COURT:

Supreme Court at Brisbane

DELIVERED ON:

30 November 2018

DELIVERED AT:

Brisbane

HEARING DATE:

30 November 2018

JUDGE:

Boddice J

ORDERS:

  1. With respect to count 1, the defendant is convicted and sentenced to six years imprisonment.
  2. With respect to count 3, the defendant is convicted and sentenced to ten years imprisonment.
  3. With respect to count 4, the defendant is convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.
  4. The sentences are to be served concurrently.
  5. Convictions are recorded for each count.
  6. The 1391 days in custody between 8 February 2015 and 29 November 2018 are declared as time served.
  7. Each offence is declared to be a conviction that is a domestic violence offence.

CATCHWORDS:

CRIMINAL LAW – PARTICULAR OFFENCES – OFFENCES AGAINST THE PERSON – HOMICIDE – MURDER – where the victim was the ex-partner of the accused – where the accused’s conduct was premeditated – where the offence was a domestic violence offence

CRIMINAL LAW – PARTICULAR OFFENCES – PROPERTY OFFENCES – BURGLARY, HOUSEBREAKING AND LIKE OFFENCES – SENTENCE – AGGRAVATED OFFENCES – where the accused broke into the home of his ex-partner – where the accused entered premises and caused wilful damage – where burglary occurred in the night, by breaking, whilst armed – where the offence was a domestic violence offence

COUNSEL:

M T Whitbread for the Crown

J P Benjamin for the respondent

SOLICITORS:

Director of Public Prosecutions (Queensland) for the Crown

Legal Aid Queensland for the defendant

  1. [1]
    BODDICE J:  Steven Murray Storie, you are to be sentenced today on one count of entering premises, doing wilful damage, one count of burglary by breaking, in the night, whilst armed, and one count of murder.
  2. [2]
    To your credit, you pleaded guilty to these offences when arraigned before me at an earlier time.  By those pleas of guilty, you saved the community the cost of what would have been a lengthy criminal trial.  That is evidence of cooperation with the administration of justice.
  3. [3]
    You also cooperated in the administration of justice by making extensive admissions to police when you were first spoken to after the discovery of the deceased’s body.  Those admissions also saved the cost of extensive police resources which would otherwise have been required in a potentially protracted investigation of this horrendous crime.
  4. [4]
    The offences to which you have pleaded guilty involved premeditated conduct of the very worst kind.  By that conduct, you took the life of your former partner in a brutal fashion.  You did so in circumstances where you were subject to a protection order.
  5. [5]
    Of concern, 11 years ago to the day, you were convicted of breaches of a domestic violence order obtained by your ex-wife.  Your conduct which gave rise to that order has a disturbing similarity to the circumstances in which this order was obtained.
  6. [6]
    The level of premeditation is evidenced by your many statements, after the granting of the temporary protection order on 21 January 2015, to the effect that your partner would be a dead women and that the protection order would not stop you.
  7. [7]
    The offences were committed by you against the background of a relationship which had progressively deteriorated since its commencement in 2011.  In 2014, the relationship had become so strained that you were evicted from the residence you shared with your former partner.
  8. [8]
    Despite that eviction, the relationship continued to deteriorate to the point that you were making threats to harm your former partner.  It was for that reason that she successfully applied for a temporary protection order on 21 January 2015.
  9. [9]
    Between that date and 7 February 2015, you formed the clear intention to take your partner’s life.  You told others that you were ready for police to kill you in any confrontation because you had nothing to live for.  You made threats to your partner to take her life.
  10. [10]
    In the early hours of 7 February 2015, you drove to your former partner’s house.  When you arrived, no one was at home.  You entered the garage and slashed the front tyres of her motor vehicle with a box cutter.  Those events represent count 1 on the indictment.  You took a child’s bicycle.  On your way home, you disposed of that in a waterway.
  11. [11]
    Shortly before 1 am on 7 February 2015, your former partner arrived back home.  She did not know that you were lying in bed at your own residence, ruminating about taking her life.
  12. [12]
    You dressed, put a knife in your pocket, and drove to her residence.  You parked your motor vehicle some distance away and walked along a bush track to the residence.
  13. [13]
    When you were unable to gain access through a damaged window, you broke a glass panel on the front door with a brick.  You unlocked the door and entered the house.  Those events represent count 3 on the indictment.
  14. [14]
    Once inside the house, you entered the bedroom of your former partner.  You held a knife to her throat.  You told her what you were going to do.  There was a struggle; at the end of which, you held her down on the edge of the bed and sliced her throat with the knife.
  15. [15]
    Despite there being, in your own words, “just too much blood”, your partner continued to fight for her life.  Rather than help her, you used the knife again on her neck.  The results of the autopsy indicate she sustained neck wounds as a consequence of at least three motions of severe force with a sharp weapon.
  16. [16]
    After your partner had died, you did not care.  You took an engagement ring from her finger.  You took steps to clean up the blood and the broken glass.  You took the items you had used to clean up and placed them in plastic bags.  You then drove home, disposing of those plastic bags en route.
  17. [17]
    Throughout the following day and the next day, you actively monitored a police scanner for news of the discovery of the body.  When news broke, you called your mother and, separately, a friend.  In those conversations, you made admissions of your involvement in that person’s demise.  You subsequently made extensive admissions to police.
  18. [18]
    The death of your partner has had devastating and lifelong consequences for members of her family.  They will never recover from their grief.
  19. [19]
    You will have to live with the fact that you, in a cold, premeditated and brutal way, took the life of a woman you once loved.  Your expressed remorse at least evidences your acknowledgment of the gravity of your disgraceful behaviour.
  20. [20]
    There is only one penalty that can be imposed for the intentional killing of another human being; that is life imprisonment.
  21. [21]
    Steven Murray Storie, on count 1 of indictment 489 of 2017, you are convicted and sentenced to six years imprisonment.  On count 3 of that indictment, you are convicted and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.  On count 4 of that indictment, you are convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.
  22. [22]
    I order those sentences of imprisonment be served concurrently.  I record convictions in respect of each count.
  23. [23]
    I declare the 1391 days you have served in custody between 8 February 2015 and 29 November 2018 as time served in respect of those sentences of imprisonment.
  24. [24]
    I declare each of the offences a conviction of a domestic violence offence.
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Editorial Notes

  • Published Case Name:

    R v Storie

  • Shortened Case Name:

    R v Storie

  • MNC:

    [2018] QSC 298

  • Court:

    QSC

  • Judge(s):

    Boddice J

  • Date:

    30 Nov 2018

Litigation History

Event Citation or File Date Notes
Primary Judgment [2018] QSC 298 30 Nov 2018 Sentence upon defendant's pleas of guilty of one count of entering premises, doing wilful damage, one count of burglary by breaking, in the night, whilst armed, and one count of murder: Boddice J.

Appeal Status

No Status