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Murderer sentenced to life in jail for killing prostitute

Police investigate the crime scene where a sex worker was allegedly murdered in Gladstone in 2010.
Police investigate the crime scene where a sex worker was allegedly murdered in Gladstone in 2010. Brenda Strong

JAMES William Glenn has been sentenced to life imprisonment after a jury found him guilty of murdering a prostitute at a Gladstone motel in December 2010.

His family members broke down on Wednesday when the jury read out the verdict that  would determine his fate - guilty.

The 20-year-old Gladstone man was sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering prostitute Shuxia Yuan.

Ms Yuan died of blood loss after her throat was cut with a fishing knife on December 5, 2010.

Glenn was on trial this week in the Supreme Court in Rockhampton after pleading not guilty to one count of murder, but guilty to manslaughter.

In his closing statement, defence barrister John McInness said there was a reasonable possibility this was "an unthinking rage, a mindless attack".

Mr McInness argued that while Glenn's actions were deliberate, it did not mean his client had an intent to kill or cause grievous bodily harm to the 52-year-old woman.

But Crown prosecutor Michael Cowan said there was no greater intention to kill someone than slitting their throat.

"If he had not intended to kill her, then why did she have 23 knife wounds?" Mr Cowan put to the jury.

"He was an angry young man, and angry young men do strange things.

"Don't worry about why he did it. She died because he wanted to kill her."

Justice Duncan McMeekin described the murder as an "inexplicable crime" and a display of "savagery".

Dr Nigel Buxton, who conducted the post-mortem examination, took to the witness stand during the trial, saying the most serious wounds were a cut on Ms Yuan's throat measuring 85mm in length, and a stab to the right side of her chest.

He said her lung had been perforated and major arteries in her neck were cut.

"I do not believe her wounds were survivable," he said.

"The life expectancy is three to five minutes when these arteries are cut."

Dr Buxton said Ms Yuan died from blood loss because of the cut to her neck.

The jury retired on Wednesday afternoon to deliberate their verdict after Crown prosecutor Michael Cowan and Barrister John McInness made their closing arguments.

Topics:  james william glenn murder rockhampton supreme court



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