One of the final social media posts of a woman, killed in an alleged domestic violence incident at one of Perth’s most luxurious hotels, showed she was “loving life” before her untimely end.
The body of 34-year-old family law barrister Alice Rose McShera was found at Crown Towers Perth, in Burswood, on Monday morning.
On her Facebook page on Sunday, Ms McShera had posted about staying at the hotel, telling followers she was “spending the night before my next surgery … drinking Dom (Perignon champagne), watching old DVDs and loving life.”
She thanked her best friend for the hotel stay, a fellow lawyer she referred to as “Lawyer of the Year.”
Cameron John Pearson, 42, fronted Perth Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning, charged with Ms McShera’s murder.
He was also allegedly found at the scene with self-inflicted wounds, but was able to stand during his appearance before Magistrate Stephen Butcher.
Homicide squad detectives charged the Bibra Lake man with murder on Monday night.
Mr Pearson, represented by solicitor Reid Hogan, was wearing a white forensic jumpsuit and was unshaven.
He had to be repeatedly asked if he understood the charge of murder against him.
Magistrate Butcher remanded Mr Pearson in custody to face Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court on November 22.
Outside court, supporters of Ms McShera, who are believed to be family members, declined to comment to the waiting media.
Emergency services were called to the hotel about 11.10am on Monday after reports a woman had been found dead inside a room.
St John Ambulance paramedics treated Ms McShera at the scene but she could not be saved.
Police said Mr Pearson, who is understood to be her partner, sustained “serious self-inflicted injuries”.
WA Police Inspector Geoff Desanges told media on Tuesday Crown security staff checked on the hotel room after receiving a call from a concerned family member.
“A family member who was seeking to get hold of one of the people in that room had spoken to Crown Towers,” he said.
“We’re still to identify the full circumstances of the relationship, and what brought about the events of (Monday).”
Ms McShera allegedly suffered head injuries consistent with a “blunt instrument”.
“There appears to have been a passage of time between the woman being injured and police being called to the hotel,” Inspector Desanges said.
A spokesperson for Crown Resorts issued a brief statement following Ms McShera’s death.
“We can confirm police responded to an incident at Crown Towers Perth earlier today,” the statement read.
“Our team are assisting WA Police with their investigation, and we are supporting our team members.”
The $650m Crown Towers in Perth, which includes 500 guest rooms and villas, was opened in 2016.
Ms McShera was based at the Murray Chambers in Perth.
Her profile said she was “an experienced advocate who appears and advises as counsel in all family law and restraining orders matters”.
Before commencing practice as an independent barrister, Ms McShera practised as a senior associate in a boutique family law firm and, prior to that, was a legal associate to a WA Family Court judge for four years.
She obtained her Master of Laws from the Australian National University in 2015 and was a member of the Family Law Practitioners Association of Western Australia and the Law Society of Western Australia.
Tributes have been pouring in for Ms McShera, including a joint statement from the Law Society of Western Australia and West Australian Bar Association.
“On behalf of our respective associations and our members we extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to Ms McShera’s family,” Law Society President Ante Golem and Bar Association President Brahma Dharmananda said.
Keegan Family Lawyers said in a social media post that Ms McShera had been “a strong woman, a powerful woman, an amazing barrister and lawyer.”
“You fought for those who couldn’t fight for themselves. You were a friend, a colleague and someone to aspire to. I cannot believe you have been taken from us.
“Our community will mourn your loss! You will be so missed. I am so sad.”
Murray Chambers said everyone had been left “deeply shocked at the terrible news regarding our respected and much-loved colleague and friend”.
“Alice was an experienced and very capable advocate who has been an integral part of the Murray Chambers family,” the statement said.
“The profession will be the poorer for her loss. We feel keenly for Alice’s family and friends at this time.”
Clement and Co Family and Criminal Lawyers said they were “deeply shocked and saddened”.
“A life senselessly taken in unimaginable circumstances,” they said.
“Let us remember Alice not for the tragic circumstances of her passing, but for the positive impact she had on so many lives.
“We extend our heartfelt condolences to Alice’s family, friends and colleagues at Murray Chambers.
“We share in their grief and offer our unwavering support during this difficult time.”
Anti-domestic violence organisation White Ribbon Australia said Ms McShera was the 43rd woman to die this year due to alleged violence.
“We’re faced with a shocking reality that should make all of us feel equal parts outrage and sadness – on average, one woman is allegedly murdered every nine days in Australia,” chief executive Melissa Perry said in a statement.
Ms Perry said the time for silence and indifference had passed.
“As a nation, we need to be doing more to change this unacceptable set of statistics,“ she said.
“We also need to recognise that this won’t happen without greater investment across all areas of the family domestic violence and abuse sector.
“This includes primary prevention strategies and education campaigns to stop violence before it starts, behaviour change programs for men who have chosen to use violence, and victim-survivor support services.”