Linda Watson, the mother of Joelean Watson, and her partner leaving the Rockhampton Courthouse.
Linda Watson, the mother of Joelean Watson, and her partner leaving the Rockhampton Courthouse. Nikita Watts Rokncourt

Ex-boyfriend guilty of murder

THE family of Joelean Lee Watson say she can finally rest in peace after her murderer was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday.

Joelean's mother Linda Watson gave a sigh of relief in the Supreme Court in Rockhampton when Shaun Ross Andrew was found guilty of her daughter's murder on December 3, 2008, and guilty of attempted murder of a two-year-old child.

Outside of the courthouse, Ms Watson said the family was extremely proud of the outcome and could now move on, but they wished they could have Joelean back.

"There's things that we've just learnt. We're all together now and we can just move on now," she said.

"She was a beautiful girl; (she) just loved everything in life and just did everything for everybody. No parent should ever have to go through this, no one."

Andrew, 29, was emotionless when the jury read the verdict and during his sentencing, only wiping his nose occasionally; his eyes were blank, but red and swollen.

Judge Duncan McMeekin sentenced him to life in prison for his ex-partner Joelean's murder and five years jail for the attempted murder charge.

Justice McMeekin said Andrew devastated the lives of those close to Joelean and his distressed state of mind was brought upon himself.

He accepted defence barrister Julie Sharp's statement that Andrew was remorseful for what he had done, but said he had no doubt the jury's verdict was "entirely appropriate".

Andrew stabbed Joelean more than 26 times with a multi-tool knife in his Gladstone home after he saw her with another man earlier in the day.

He then tried to take his own life and the life of a child by gassing himself in a car under the house, but didn't go through with it.

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