A double-murderer has pleaded with the court to never release him from prison - saying that he believes he "deserves" to spend the rest of his life behind bars.
On Wednesday, 56-year-old Darren John Chalmers made his plea during a presentence hearing.
Chalmers recently confessed to the cold-case murder of Geelong resident Annette Steward in 1992.
As per News.com.au, Steward, 29, was found naked and strangled to death in her home on March 18, 1992. The case had initially gone cold after an extensive investigation yielded no charges.
The breakthrough in the case occurred over two decades later when Chalmers's brother revealed that he had information about the case.
Subsequent DNA testing on evidence collected at the time pointed to a potential connection to Chalmers or a relative.
Chalmers, who had relocated to Perth and become a person of interest in the 2019 disappearance of Dianne Barrett, eventually confessed to undercover operatives, securing a significant financial benefit for himself.
During the court proceedings, it was revealed that Chalmers had murdered Annette Steward just two days after their initial meeting, bashing her head with an iron and strangling her with a cord.
The prosecution claimed that he arrived at the victim's house and expressed that he had "no one to celebrate his birthday with" and asked to come in.
After a few drinks, Steward said that Chalmers could spend the night on her couch. He later hit her in the head three times with the iron before strangling her with a chord. He left via the back door.
Chalmers remained motionless as the details of the murder were recounted.
Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions, Kerri Judd KC urged Justice Andrew Tinney to impose life imprisonment without parole, describing the attack as "deliberate, calculated, and unprovoked."
She emphasized the grave danger Chalmers posed to the community and highlighted the disturbing similarities between the two murders committed 27 years apart.
The court received a one-page letter from Chalmers, where he explicitly requested "never to be released." He emphasized: "No parole for 40 years, not 20, not 30; please 40 years-plus, I think I deserve it."
In an emotional statement, Annette Steward's children, Jacinta Martin and Aaron Steward, expressed the impact their mother's murder had on their lives.
Martin tearfully stated: "We were left to feel like a burden on our families," emphasizing that the revelation brought closure to a long-unanswered chapter in their lives.
Chalmers's barrister, Amy Brennan, acknowledged the brutality of the murder but argued against life imprisonment without parole. She highlighted Chalmers's difficult childhood, time as a ward of the state, and lifelong mental health issues stemming from trauma and abuse.
Chalmers will be sentenced at a later date.