Kerry Johnson leave the Cairns court house after watching Graeme Evans plead guilty to her daughter Leeann Lapham's manslaughter. PHOTO: TONI CALDWELL
Kerry Johnson leave the Cairns court house after watching Graeme Evans plead guilty to her daughter Leeann Lapham's manslaughter. PHOTO: TONI CALDWELL

Mum watches man plead guilty to daughter’s death

A MOTHER is "still registering" after watching the man who killed her daughter plead guilty to manslaughter almost eight years after Leeann Lapham vanished.

Graeme Collin Evans pleaded guilty before Justice James Henry to unlawfully killing his former partner Ms Lapham and interfering with her dead body on April 19, 2010.

Leeann's mother Kerry Johnson was shaking as she left the Cairns court house.

"How do you think I feel, it's not very good," she said.

"I'm hoping to get a little bit of peace, that's all I can say."

Outside court Evans' lawyer Phil Rennick said his client had divulged the location of Ms Lapham's body to him but not to anyone else including police.

Kerry Johnson leave the Cairns court house after watching Graeme Evans plead guilty to her daughter Leeann Lapham's manslaughter. PHOTO: TONI CALDWELL
Kerry Johnson leave the Cairns court house after watching Graeme Evans plead guilty to her daughter Leeann Lapham's manslaughter. PHOTO: TONI CALDWELL

"It may happen later today," he said yesterday.

Mr Rennick said his client had been waiting until after he had been arraigned in the Supreme Court.

Ms Lapham, 30, was last seen entering a room at Innisfail's Riverside Motel. During a bail application for Mr Evans last year it was revealed there was video footage of her entering the room but none showing her leave.

Leeann Lapham.
Leeann Lapham.

 

Innisfail man Graeme Evans is charged with the 2010 murder of Leeann Lapham. PHOTO: Elisabeth Champion
Innisfail man Graeme Evans is charged with the 2010 murder of Leeann Lapham. PHOTO: Elisabeth Champion

 

She was reported missing two weeks later.

At the time of her disappearance Ms Lapham had a three-week-old son Bradley. Her remains have never been found.

Police have always suspected foul play and have reopened the case three times in six years.

A major breakthrough in the cold case came in February last year when Mr Evans was arrested and initially charged with murder, which was downgraded to manslaughter through negotiations.

The case will next be mentioned on March 12 in Townsville after Mr Rennick and Crown Prosecutor Nigel Rees requested the matter be moved.


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