Samantha Fraser’s family pause action as her killer appeals conviction

The family of a woman brutally murdered by her estranged husband have had their compensation bid delayed because the killer is fighting to appeal his conviction.

She was due to give evidence in court a week later, saying he had repeatedly raped her throughout their 10-year marriage, but Basham instead broke into her garage and attacked her.

Adrian Basham has been jailed for the murder of his estranged wife.
Adrian Basham has been jailed for the murder of his estranged wife. (Paul Jeffers/The Age)

After a savage assault that left her with 41 separate injuries, he tied a noose around her neck and hanged her from the garage door, staging her death as a suicide.

Basham admitted to causing the injuries but maintained Fraser took her own life.

He is seeking to appeal both his life jail term and his conviction, with Victorian Legal Aid finally obtaining funding to start his application.

Basham initially flagged his intention appeal in March 2023.

Fraser’s family have a separate application in the Victorian Supreme Court, seeking compensation from Basham.

Their barrister Sheeana Dhanji told the court the family wanted to see the outcome of Basham’s appeal bid before continuing with their own application.

Dhanji said the compensation they were seeking was contingent on Basham’s guilty verdict so if that was brought into question, their application would be as well.

Samantha Fraser was killed at her Phillip Island home on July 23, 2018. (Supplied)

Judicial Registrar Timothy Freeman agreed to adjourn the family’s application to a further directions hearing on May 23.

He said the six weeks would give Basham’s lawyers time to assess whether he could appeal his conviction and sentence.

The judicial registrar also urged Basham, who appeared in court via video link from prison, to obtain legal representation for the Fraser family’s compensation application.

He said it could assist both the court and the family to resolve the matter without the need for a final hearing.

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