Frederick Ronald Sinfield was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his neighbour Norma Ludlam.
Frederick Ronald Sinfield was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his neighbour Norma Ludlam.

‘I will miss her so much’: Son faces mother’s murderer

THE son of a woman who was raped and murdered by her neighbour has spoken of his never-ending grief and "terrible nightmares" since her horrific death.

Frederick Ronald Sinfield, 64, was sentenced to life in jail on Friday for the vicious rape and murder of Norma Ludlam, 75, at her Hervey Bay home in 2015.

Sinfield stared blankly ahead as Crown Prosecutor Todd Fuller read a statement from Ms Ludlam's son Steven Ludlam in the Brisbane Supreme Court.

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Mr Ludlam, who appeared by videolink from Maryborough, wept as the statement was read, telling of his family's sadness that his mother never got to meet her great-grandchildren.

 

Frederick Ronald Sinfield preyed on his elderly neighbour before raping and killing her.
Frederick Ronald Sinfield preyed on his elderly neighbour before raping and killing her.

 

"There is no time in the world that can be given that can make up for the damage that can be done," Mr Fuller read on Mr Ludlam's behalf.

"I've had terrible nightmares about Mum's death and still have trouble sleeping. How can I ever get over this?"

"I miss her so much. I miss our weekly phone calls and hearing her voice at the end of every call, without fail saying, 'I love you'."

Mr Fuller told the court how Sinfield had "ingratiated" himself into Ms Ludlam's life and had wanted to become her registered carer.

Sinfield then entered her Eli Waters home on July 2, 2015 while she was heavily medicated on sleeping pills and raped her, recording it on his camera.

He returned the next day offering to give her a leg massage, before ferociously striking her twice in the head causing a "50 cent hole in her skull".

She died two days later.

Sinfield then tried to cover his tracks, deleting his call logs to her, the court heard.

He pleaded not guilty to murder, but it took a jury five hours convict him at Maryborough Supreme Court on September 6.

Once they returned their verdict, Sinfield pleaded guilty to murder and the additional charges of rape and filming.

Mr Fuller told the court Sinfield had a long and violent criminal record including sexual assaults on other women.

He was also sentenced for filming another woman without her consent at Tin Can Bay, after also offering to give her a massage.

In court on Friday, Sinfield pleaded guilty to four extra offences of assaulting police officers during his arrest and wilful damage, after he smashed the police officer's voice recorder against a wall during an interview.

Defence Barrister Benjamin James said it had undoubtedly been a "gross violation of trust".

He told the court that prison had been hard on Sinfield and his elderly client would likely pose no threat to the community, should he ever be released.

In sentencing, Justice Peter Davis said the rape was particularly "predatory".

"You had gained her trust as her carer, then you violated that trust by entering sanctity of her home and raping her while she was asleep," he said.

"You must have known she was heavily medicated to have had the courage to commit that offence."

For the most serious charges, Justice Davis sentenced Sinfield to life in prison for the murder and six years' jail for rape.

Sinfield will be 81 years old when he becomes eligible for parole on July 29, 2036. - NewsRegional