He lost an eye and part of his nose, as well as minor brain damage.

Crown prosecutor Robin Bates said Comerford's murder was a premeditated attack with a high level of brutality on a woman who was alone and vulnerable.

Defence counsel Judith Ablett QC said the pair had been in a volatile relationship, which had involved "physical and psychological abuse" from Comerford towards the defendant.

She added a large amount of provocative behaviour in the lead-up to the murder, which included Comerford driving within centimetres of the defendant on the day she died.

Justice Rachel Dunningham sentenced him to life in prison, with a minimum non-parole period of 11 years.