A Diggers Rest man has admitted to murdering his 29-year-old girlfriend by bashing her to death.

Shane Robertson faced Melbourne Magistrates Court last week and pleaded guilty to murdering former hairdresser Katherine Haley on March 9, 2017.

The court heard that Robertson killed the mother-of-two by striking her five times to the head with a dumbbell bar on the night they broke up at their Diggers Rest home.

Members of Ms Haley’s family were present at the hearing, including her father, sister, aunt and cousin. Several women cried during the proceedings.

Emergency services were called to the home in Fairfield Crescent after 11pm that night.

Ms Haley’s body was found fully clothed and she had suffered extensive head trauma.

Robertson was charged with murder the next day.

The pair had previously been described as a “very happy and a very lovely couple”.

Police said Robertson became jealous after Ms Healy started a waitressing job following the birth of her second child. He didn’t like her working at a pub with men and believed she was cheating on him.

Robertson made Ms Haley give him her phone so he could look at her social media accounts and forced her to delete those accounts and to stop speaking to male co-workers, police said.

In the weeks before the murder, Ms Haley told friends Robertson had become possessive and she was thinking of leaving him.

Early on the morning of the murder, Robertson messaged Ms Haley: “Good night babe, had a good night with not only my best friend but my life partner. Here’s to our new beginning at life.”

He messaged and called her repeatedly throughout the day before the pair went out for dinner and went home.

An argument broke out between the couple over Ms Haley using her mobile phone, court documents show, and she told Robertson that she no longer loved him.

The court heard that following the murder, Robertson called his mother and said: “I kill her mum. I kill her. I didn’t mean it.” And later: “I’ve done it. I’ve bashed her brains in. There is brains everywhere.”

The court was told Robertson was at risk of self-harm and was having suicidal thoughts in custody.

He was remanded to appear in the Supreme Court for a directions hearing.


The Age