Murderer claims he killed in spontaneous 'blind rage'
A SUNSHINE Coast man convicted of murdering his partner, dumping her body in the boot of her car before setting it alight in bushland has claimed he did not intentionally mean to kill her.
Wayn Edward Raymond McClutchie, 39, was found guilty in 2013 and sentenced to life behind bars for murdering former Toowoomba woman Noelene Beutel, 35, during a violent confrontation on June 29, 2011, at their Buderim home.
He will spend a minimum of 15 years in prison before he can even apply for parole.
But McClutchie appealed his conviction yesterday in the Queensland Court of Appeal claiming the verdict was unreasonable and the jury was not instructed correctly surrounding intent.
Under Queensland law the Crown must prove beyond reasonable doubt that a person intended to cause another person's death, or at least to cause them grievous bodily harm, to secure a murder conviction.
Defence barrister Simon Hamlyn-Harris told the court that the Crown had not proven this critical element because there was no direct evidence to suggest McClutchie had intended to harm Ms Beutel.
He said the case was circumstantial and the jury was required under law to acquit McClutchie if it had not exhausted all reasonable possibilities.
"It was important that the jury considered as a possibility that Ms Beutel had hit him first and he then reacted and hit her," he said.
"It was a spontaneous act, committed in the heat of the moment and while in a blind rage.
"It was not intentional."
Crown prosecutor Ben Power said the judge did not err in her directions to the jury and that the forensic evidence produced at the trial was critical in allowing the jury to determine its verdict.
The Court of Appeal reserved its decision.