Man guilty of murdering partner by slitting her throat

A JURY has taken less than one-and-a-half hours to find Ronald Michael Craig guilty of murdering his partner at the height of the 2011 flood disaster.

The body of Kylie Hitchen, 35, was discovered during the early hours on January 22, 2011, after police received a tip off from concerned neighbours.

The Brisbane Supreme Court heard Ms Hitchen's throat had been cut with such force it completely served her windpipe and left knife marks on the vertebrae.

At the start of the trial Craig pleaded not guilty to murder, but guilty to manslaughter.

However, the jury did not buy into Craig's claims that he tried to disarm her after she grabbed a knife during a drunken argument.

Instead they believed the overwhelming amount of forensic evidence which showed Ms Hitchen's was attacked first in the lounge room of the home they shared in Creek St, Esk, before trying to flee through the back door located near the kitchen.

She was subsequently butchered to death in the kitchen and was found still clutching her handbag.

The jury delivered their verdict on Wednesday shortly after 3.30pm to the relief of Ms Hitchen's father, mother, brother and friends who were present in the court room.

Once the guilty verdict was delivered a supporter yelled out "we got the bastard."

Crown Prosecutor Ben Power immediately sought an adjournment in relation to sentencing.

He revealed to the court Craig had a previous manslaughter conviction which involved a knife in the Northern Territory.

Mr Power said given Craig's criminal history, especially in relation to the previous manslaughter conviction, he would be requesting more than the minimum parole period of 15 years normally associated with a life sentence.

Justice David Jackson adjourned the matter until April 23 when Craig will be sentenced.

As he was being led away Craig turned to Ms Hitchen's family and said "I am really sorry guys."

Under Queensland law a person convicted of murder is automatically given a mandatory life sentence.

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