An Aboriginal man who had a "disadvantaged and dysfunctional" life before fatally bashing his long-term partner at a Perth home has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 18 years.
Margaret Indich, 38, was found injured inside the Belmont residence on January 3 last year and died in hospital from head injuries, the West Australian Supreme Court heard on Friday.
Ms Indich, who had a heart condition, had complained of being short of breath but when paramedics were called her partner Kenrick Thomas Dodd, 42, turned his aggression towards them and said: "You are not taking my woman."
After the paramedics left, Dodd punched Ms Indich, struck her with a pipe and smashed her head on the ground.
Ms Indich pleaded with him to stop and at one point when she lost consciousness he slapped her to wake her up.
By the time police and paramedics arrived, Dodd had fled but was later arrested.
Upset family members left the courtroom when the facts were read out, while Dodd kept his head down.
State prosecutor David Davidson described the fatal assault as "next level".
Justice Joseph McGrath described it as brutal and relentless and said Ms Indich had been defenceless.
"You inflicted a sustained and violent attack upon your partner," he said.
However he acknowledged Dodd had a disadvantaged and dysfunctional childhood in which he was born to a 13-year-old mother and lived a transient lifestyle throughout WA.
He also witnessed domestic violence and began using drugs and alcohol as a teenager.
"Your substance abuse and its role in your offending reflect socio-economic circumstances and the environment in which you grew up," he said.
Justice McGrath noted Dodd had long abused his partner of 18 years, had a significant criminal record and had spent 12 years of his adult life in prison.
He said the father of two showed a callous disregard for Ms Indich but accepted Dodd was now remorseful.
Defence counsel John Rando said Dodd had wanted to write a letter of apology for what he had done but could not read or write.
Outside court, Ms Indich's mother Irene said her daughter had been a fragile and "very sick little girl".
"I fought to keep her alive, to keep her close to me and then she met this man and then she was taken away," she told reporters.
But she said she was satisfied with the sentence.
"It will never bring her back. I really have a lot of mending to do now. It will take a while," she said.
"Domestic violence is a terrible thing. It's got to be stopped."
Australian Associated Press