A photograph of Amanda Quirk who was murdered.
A photograph of Amanda Quirk who was murdered.

Amanda Quirk's murderer had a history of violence

AFTER hearing Amanda Quirk's murderer had a history of violent offences within weeks of being released from prison, her family lashed out at parole authorities for letting him go free.

Father Larry Quirk, speaking minutes after Christopher James Swan was convicted for a second time of murdering his daughter, said Amanda could be still alive if Swan had been kept behind bars longer.

"The parole board should never have let him out," he said.

"Just like all the other poor families out there, things could have turned out differently."

Swan, 40, was sentenced to life imprisonment straight after a jury found him guilty on Tuesday of murdering his flatmate at their Booval home.

He has already served four years in custody and will be eligible for parole after he has served 15 years.

Crown prosecutor Ben Power told Brisbane Supreme Court that Swan had been released from jail just nine weeks before he bashed Amanda to death in "an extremely brutal way" and then dumped her body in forest in NSW.

"He has twice before, when crossed by people who have offered him relatively little in the way of provocation, shot them in the leg," he said.

"He spent most of his 30s in jail."

Mr Power said Swan had fired a loaded shotgun at a third person but missed them.

Justice Philip McMurdo said Swan murdered Amanda on a day in which she had already been brutally assaulted over a sustained period.

"That woman had done nothing … which could have justified any assault upon her let alone the killing of her," he said.

"By the time you delivered the fatal blow or blows she must have in a very weak state indeed.

"You had added to her ordeal by tying her up.

"She was an entirely innocent and defenceless victim.

"You then set about disposing her body, trying to destroy evidence, and then boldly lying to those who began to inquire about Amanda's whereabouts.

"It seems to me you have shown no remorse."

Swan took his case to the Queensland Court of Appeal after the last time he was found guilty and received a retrial.

Outside court, sister Lisa Quirk said she hoped this would be the final time her family had to sit through court proceedings.

"We can finally set her free," she said.

"She can finally rest now that it's all over.

"It's been horrible.

"No words can explain what the four years were like, especially having her anniversary yesterday as well and sitting in court for it when we should be out there sitting with her.

"But we know she's been here with us so now we can set her free and she can go heal."

Ms Quirk had earlier read out a victim impact statement to the court where she spoke about how the Booval house's crime scene still haunted her and gave her nightmares.

"Our family has suffered greatly and we will never get Amanda back," she told the court.

"She was taken from us - we will never hear her laugh again, nor see her smile.

"All we have is tears to cry.

"I miss my sister deeply.

"These actions can never ever be forgiven.

"My family will live with this forever."

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