Man jailed for murdering ex in fit of jealous rage

·2-min read

A judge has described the murder of a Sydney TAFE worker by her on-off again boyfriend as a "great human tragedy".

James Hachem, 37, has been jailed for up to 24 years after he was found guilty of murdering 30-year-old Samah Baker in January 2019.

"Her murder has caused a great loss, the extent and impact of which cannot be conveyed in words," Justice Robertson Wright said in the NSW Supreme Court on Friday.

"Ms Baker's death was a great human tragedy, she was a captivating person who made those around her feel whole."

"The qualities of a particular victim may serve as a powerful reminder of the quality of human life itself, and all that is involved in taking it away."

Hachem sat silently in court, more than four years after he killed Ms Baker near her Parramatta apartment in a fit of jealous rage after she refused to spend New Year's Eve with him.

Ms Baker was in a tumultuous and sometimes violent relationship with Hachem since they had first met at work in 2015.

She ended the relationship with Hachem on multiple occasions, eventually finding a new partner in December 2018.

The court was told Hachem waited outside her apartment in his car and spied on Ms Baker while she was on a date, becoming enraged when he witnessed the pair kissing in the early hours of January 4.

He then concocted a story about his parents being involved in a car accident in order to lure Ms Baker out of her apartment before killing her.

He later went to Bunnings and bought various items including a double sheet, gloves, cleaning products and a digging trowel, before driving to isolated areas in rural NSW.

Ms Baker's body has never been found.

"The offending involves fatal violence towards a female partner, arising out of his jealousy and anger because of her being with another man," Justice Wright said.

Despite hearing evidence of childhood trauma and abuse suffered by Hachem during sentencing hearings, Justice Wright said they were "not significant enough to justify the conclusion that his moral culpability (is) reduced".

Hachem was handed a sentence of 24 years' imprisonment and a non-parole period of 18 years, backdated to his arrest in 2019.

He will be eligible for parole in March 2037.

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