Gayle Woodford's killer Dudley Davey jailed for 32 years
THE grief-stricken husband of slain nurse Gayle Woodford says he believes her killer should die in prison, after being jailed for at least 32 years over the outback abduction, rape and murder.
Dudley David Davey was on Thursday jailed for the mandatory head sentence of life over the abduction, rape and murder of Ms Woodford at Fregon on the APY Lands in March 2016.
Supreme Court judge Ann Vanstone said Davey's prior criminal record of attacks on women made him a danger to the community and ruled he must serve at least 32 years in prison before being eligible for parole.
After maintaining a public silence throughout the 14-month court process, Keith Woodford made an emotional statement outside court, in which he thanked Justice Vanstone for imposing the hefty minimum term.
"Dudley Davey should never, ever be allowed out of jail for the crime that he committed," Mr Woodford said.
After the death, a concerted public campaign was launched to implement so-called "Gayle's Law" - which would make it illegal for rural or remote nurses to attend call-outs alone.
Mr Woodford said he would use his wife's memory to campaign for such laws to be introduced across Australia.
"I am going to devote my life to the loving memory of Gayle by supporting the welfare of all nurses working in regional or remote areas," he said.
"I will do whatever is necessary to apply public pressure on governments and health authorities to implement Gayle's Law."
Mr Woodford said the tragedy should serve as a stark warning of the dangers regularly encountered by health workers in remote areas.
"We must act radically to protect nurses and medical staff in remote areas to ensure that the crime that took Gayle away from us is never allowed to happen again," he said.
"I want every nurse to feel like when they go to work, they can go to work without fear of being raped, murdered or beaten.
Justice Vanstone said Davey's guilty plea was the "only mitigating factor" in the crime, which he committed while on a three-day ice bender, during which Fregon people became frightened of his odd behaviour.
Davey, who had attacked numerous women including another APY nurse in 1998, was found to have an anti social personality disorder and an "abnormal desire to rape women".
"Looking at your record, sadly there was a certain inevitability about your offending escalating as it has," Justice Vanstone said.
Despite Davey's claims he initially intended to just steal the ambulance used by Ms Woodford, Justice Vanstone ruled he was motivated by the urge to rape a "vulnerable" target from the outset.
"She was plainly chosen by you as an easy target," she said.
"You targeted a vulnerable woman who worked with skill and compassion in your community."
Justice Vanstone said she could not be certain if Ms Woodford was killed in an area of scrub outside Fregon where she was raped, or a spot nearby where her body was found in a crudely dug grave covered with branches.
Davey initially denied killing Ms Woodford but pleaded guilty in the face of overwhelming forensic evidence.
"Having (raped Ms Woodford) you decided to kill her in the hope of covering up the rape and the theft," Justice Vanstone said.
Davey told a psychologist he killed the mother-of-two because he "had a bad head from the ice".
He also said he did not intend to kill her, and told police: "Sorry I hit the wrong spot (pointing to the left side of his head) accidentally to steal her car, and wrong spot and hit her ... I hit the wrong spot".
However, Justice Vanstone said the severity of the attack belied Davey's claims.
"The body bore multiple injury sites from blunt trauma, including to the brain. Those injuries indicate that you must have intended to kill her," she said.
An autopsy revealed Davey had also subjected Ms Woodford to a violent sexual assault before killing her.
After imposing the 32-year minimum term for murder, rape and the theft of the community ambulance, members of Ms Woodford's family broke down and embraced outside the courtroom.
Justice Vanstone said Davey's shocking crime had devastated not only Ms Woodford's family and friends, but the entire community of Fregon, where he lived until he was about 16.
Davey will never be welcomed back to the APY Lands and was ostracised by other inmates in prison.
Mr Woodford gave his "heartfelt thanks" to police, prosecutors, the Fregon and Yorke Peninsula communities, his wife's former nursing colleagues and friends for their support since the murder.
"Without the loving care of my children and our extended family and friends I would not be here today, they have given me a purpose to face each new day," he said.
When asked to describe what his wife meant to him and his family, Mr Woodford struggled to fight back tears or find adequate words.
"There is no way that I could express it - she is here," Mr Woodford said, pointing towards his heart.
In February, Davey pleaded guilty to the rape and murder of Ms Woodford.
During sentencing submissions on Monday, prosecutors said Davey, 36, was "a real and ongoing danger to the community" and was "largely remorseless" for attacks on at least five different women over almost 20 years.
The court previously heard Davey broke into the home of another nurse and assaulted her intending to rape her at Fregon in 1998.
As Davey's lawyer outlined the killer's version of events the night he abducted, raped and murdered Ms Woodford at Fregon on the remote APY Lands in March 2016, her distraught husband Keith muttered "I can't sit in here and listen to this crap".
After enduring the tortuous details of Ms Woodford's final, desperate attempts to escape, Mr Woodford, their daughter and other family members left the court in distress.
Mr Woodford, who has maintained a stoic silence throughout the court process, glared and pointed menacingly at Davey, hissing "wiya story" - which The Advertiser understands is Pitjantjatjara language for "I don't believe your story" - before storming out of the court.
The outburst came as Davey's lawyer Nick Vadasz claimed his client's original intention was to simply steal the ambulance to drive to Adelaide after the Fregon community had shunned him.
However, Justice Vanstone said she was "having trouble accepting this account".
"If he just wanted the keys, he could have just taken the keys and the ambulance," Justice Vanstone said.
The court heard Davey was on a three-day methamphetamine bender and walking around Fregon in a daze when he resolved to go to the Woodford's heavily secured home intending to steal the local health service's ambulance.
Davey raped and murdered Ms Woodford after luring her with the ruse his grandmother needed Panadol.
He has previously attacked at least five women including two other nurses.
The murder has highlighted safety concerns when remote area nurses were called out to jobs alone.
Dudley Davey's 32-year non-parole period is one of the longest set in South Australia.
Here's how it compares ...
John Justin Bunting and Robert Joe Wagner, "bodies in the barrels" serial killers, serving life in prison with no parole.
Mark Errin Rust, who murdered Maya Jakic and Megumi Suzuki, jailed indefinitely.
Dieter Pfennig, convicted of the murders of Louise Bell and Michael Black, serving a combined 60-year non parole period.
Barry Michael Fyfe, multiple crimes including stabbing a convicted rapist in jail, 39-year non-parole period.
Bevan Spencer von Einem, murdered Richard Kelvin, 36-year non-parole but unlikely to ever be released under legislation introduced to keep him in jail.
James William Miller, Truro murderer, 35-year non-parole period.
Jason Alexander Downie, Kapunda triple murderer, 35-year non-parole period.
Jose Omonte-Extrada, murdered two women at Quorn, 33-year non-parole period.
Angelika Gavare, murdered and dismembered pensioner Vonne McGlynn, 32-year non-parole period.