A friend of a woman allegedly murdered in a Perth hotel room by her partner has claimed the couple had a “huge argument” months before and broke off their relationship.
Family law barrister Alice McShera, 34, was allegedly killed by her partner Cameron Pearson, 42, inside a hotel room at the Crown Towers in Burswood on Sunday night.
Mr Pearson was allegedly found at the scene the following morning with self-inflicted wounds and has since been charged with her murder.
She is the 57th woman to die in an alleged domestic violence incident in Australia this year.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Ms McShera‘s friend – who wished to remain anonymous – said the couple had a disagreement while holidaying in Tasmania in September before breaking up.
The friend said didn’t know what the argument was about – but said Pearson “did stay away for a while” before the couple rekindled their relationship.
Mr Pearson’s sister Jessica Pearson was approached by reporters on Wednesday to whom she described the current situation as “awful”.
The family said they did not want to comment.
Ms McShera’s best friend Elsa Constant said she had become concerned about her friend in recent weeks and had reached out.
“If your friends tell you that they are concerned about you, please go and see someone,” she told Nine on Wednesday.
On her Facebook page on Sunday, Ms McShera thanked her best friend for organising the hotel stay, telling her friends that she was “spending the night before (her) next surgery … drinking Dom (Perignon champagne), watching old DVDs and loving life”.
Ms Constant said she was still in shock over her friend’s death, adding she would have had a long and successful career ahead.
“I go from completely numb to hysterical because I didn’t think this would happen,” she said.
When asked what her impression of Mr Pearson was, she said: “All I know is for me he’s always been somebody who had a kind heart and a gentle soul.”
“She had so much potential she would have been a judge or senior counsel.”
WA Police Inspector Geoff Desanges told media on Tuesday that Crown security staff checked on the hotel room after receiving a call from a concerned family member.
“A family member who was seeking to get hold of one of the people in that room had spoken to Crown Towers,” he said.
“We’re still to identify the full circumstances of the relationship and what brought about the events of (Monday).”
Ms McShera allegedly suffered head injuries consistent with a “blunt instrument”.
“There appears to have been a passage of time between the woman being injured and police being called to the hotel,” Inspector Desanges said.
Ms McShera was based at the Murray Chambers in Perth.
Her profile said she was “an experienced advocate who appears and advises as counsel in all family law and restraining orders matters”.
Before commencing practice as an independent barrister, Ms McShera practised as a senior associate in a boutique family law firm.
Prior to that she was a legal associate to a WA Family Court judge for four years.
Mr Pearson, represented by solicitor Reid Hogan, was wearing a white forensic jumpsuit and was unshaven when he faced Perth Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
He had to be repeatedly asked if he understood the charge of murder against him.
The Bibra Lake man was remanded in custody to face Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court on November 22.