A Mornington woman has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Michelle Louise Meades, whose body was found in a burnt out unit in Clarendon Vale in September 2016.
Kylie Jane Hack, 36, who has spent almost three years in custody while this matter went through the court, pleaded guilty to Ms Meades' manslaughter in the Supreme Court on Thursday.
Hack pleaded guilty to manslaughter, committing actions which perverted the course of justice including concealing the body, cleaning the crime scene, setting fire the property where Ms Meades was killed and lying to police, and stealing the victim's handbag which held her identification, debit cards and other personal papers.
Hack's defence lawyer Greg Melick said, during her time in prison, Hack had reflected on her actions.
"She does accept a criminal responsibility for Ms Meades' death," Mr Melick said.
In other news
"These offences arise of the result of long-term drug and alcohol [addictions].
"She was committing crimes of dishonesty to pay for her drug habit."
Mr Melick said, at the time of the offence, Hack was taking prescription medication, injecting 1 gram of methamphetamine four to five times a day, smoking cannabis and cigarettes, and drinking a 24 pack of rum and coke pre-mixed cans daily.
Hack stood and read the court a note regarding her remorse for the crime.
"I am aware that no amount of apology can compensate for [my actions]," Hack said.
"I pray the Meades family find some peace and justice from the events today.
"My recovery has only just begun. I am determined to never again walk the same path."
Director of Public Prosecutions Daryl Coates said the weight of Hack's guilty plea should be minimal as, by pleading guilty to manslaughter, she avoided a trial where she may have been convicted of murder.
"She's saved the state and the community from the lengthy trial, but she is benefiting from it," Mr Coates said.
"All cases of manslaughter are serious crimes. It's the Crown's submission this is a very serious case of the offence."
The court heard Ms Meades went to the Clarendon Vale unit where she was later killed on September 16 to purchase methamphetamine.
Following an alleged disagreement regarding the drugs, Mr Coates said Hack and two people assaulted Ms Meades.
Mr Melick said Hack admits to hitting Ms Meades, pulling her hair and striking her head against the floor, however the court heard an autopsy revealed none of these actions caused her death.
Ms Meades was stabbed 20 times in the neck with a pair of nail scissors, piercing her jugular vein at least three times, and was struck with a golf putter.
Mr Coates said the Crown could not determine who in the unit delivered the fatal injuries to Ms Meades.
The court heard her body was wrapped in a sheet and stored in a cupboard and the unit was burnt down by Hack on September 20.
Mr Coates said Hack's post-offence activity showed no signs of remorse.
"She cleaned the house. She burned it down. She stole from the deceased," he said.
"The perverting of justice was sustained and [she] went to great lengths."
Justice Helen Wood ordered a pre-sentence report be prepared and adjourned the matter until 4.15pm on September 26.