A 17-year-old youth has pleaded guilty to murdering an 18-year-old mother-of-two whose body was found stuffed in a wheelie bin in Western Australia last year.
The body of Bethany* was found outside a hospital in the mining town of Newman on May 6, 2020, just four weeks after she gave birth to her second child.
Bethany was a Martu woman whose traditional lands cover 13.6 million hectares in central Western Australia.
The woman’s body with severe head injuries was found outside the hospital in Newman, 1,178 kilometres northeast of Perth at 4am on Wednesday, May 6, last year
Police believe she may have been stoned to death before her body was placed inside the bin and dumped outside the medical facility.
The teenager, who can’t be named due to his age, had been expected to stand trial.
However the youth has pleaded guilty to the murder charge at Perth Children’s Court earlier this month, the West Australian reported.
The boy has been remanded in custody to be sentenced on February 11.
He has been in custody at the Banksia Hill Juvenile Detention Centre since the body was found.
Bethany had just given birth to a son, Justin, and already had a one-year-old son, Nate, when she sustained severe head injuries during an altercation in her home town of Newman.
The young mum’s body was found in a wheelie bin outside Newman Hospital (pictured)
It is believed her death was related to a family violence incident, the Northwest Telegraph reported at the time.
The young relative of the woman allegedly wheeled the bin with her inside to the house of an elder before taking it to the hospital at 3.45am, pressing the after hours button and leaving the scene.
She was found by two nurses around 4am and pronounced dead soon after.
It was not clear whether she was alive when she arrived at the hospital and police have never revealed exactly how she died.
Rocks were seized by police during an investigation into Bethany’s death.
Local police called in an extra 12 officers from Perth in case of trouble in the town in the wake of the killing but no trouble eventuated.
Instead, a tribal elder man known to the teenage boy was physically punished through a traditional tribal payback, The West Australian reported.
Pictured: Police at one of three crime scenes established for the investigation
No complaints were made about the punishment, with tensions eased locally since it was performed, police said.
‘Police can confirm a respected elder attended a culturally appropriate location, where he underwent his obligations according to cultural traditions,’ a police spokeswoman told the Weekend Australian in October.
Police did not identify which traditional punishment was used but according the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia it could include ‘spearing’, ‘physical beating’, ‘banishment’ and’ ‘repercussions for other family members’.
*Name has been changed for cultural reasons
This post was first published on DailyMail.