Narangba Man Accused of Brutal Sledgehammer Murder of Estranged Wife

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In a tragic unfolding of events, Shaun Robert Sturgess has been accused of murdering his estranged wife, Jacqueline Sturgess. As alleged in court, after inflicting a deadly blow with a 1.8 kg sledgehammer, he abandoned her to the harsh reality of her impending demise as he went out to dampen his emotions in alcohol.

In the family’s residence located in Narangba, north of Brisbane, police discovered the horrifying sight in April 2020. Mrs. Sturgess’s remains were exposed during a welfare inspection, her 45-year-old mortal shell lying face down in a pool of her own lifeblood.

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Ironically, Mrs. Sturgess was found still clutching a screwdriver which she had intended to use for the dismantling of a desk. Her mobile phone protruded from her back pocket, a grim reminder of the normalcy that was brutally interrupted. She had arrived at the home to retrieve the desk after a prior arrangement made via text with Mr. Sturgess.

Expectedly pleading his guilt to manslaughter in the Brisbane Supreme Court, the Sturgess murder trial was met with a rejection by Crown Prosecutor Chris Cook. In a direct confrontation with the jury, he brandished the sledgehammer—the chilling weapon which, according to claims, Mr. Sturgess used to strike his wife’s skull, leaving her lifeless body in neglect for nearly 24 hours while he drowned his guilt in liquor.

Their parting, which had occurred months prior, was highlighted in court by Ms. Sturgess’s earlier visit to a lawyer to discuss property settlements prior to her death.

Ms. Sturgess was in the process of retrieving a desk from the Narangba residence when Mr. Sturgess, seemingly flaring in anticipation of an impending relationship’s end, acted upon his rage. He later confessed to losing control and delivering a fatal sledgehammer blow to the base of his wife’s skull.

Immense controversy surrounds the case, as Mr. Sturgess, in an unsettling revelation, confessed to how he discarded his phone and dog at the crime scene before purchasing and consuming alcohol from a nearby store. He further admitted to discarding the murder weapon in a nature reserve near their home, where it was later found by the police.

Mr. Sturgess then sought refuge at a friend’s place, continuing his drinking spree, and made damning confessions the next day.

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