The man who lured, raped and murdered outback nurse Gayle Woodford has told an Adelaide court he should have received a greater reduction to his sentence because of his early guilty pleas.
Ms Woodford's body was found in a shallow grave near the remote community of Fregon in South Australia's APY Lands in March last year.
The Supreme Court heard she had been lured from her bed, likely responding to a call for help, and was quickly overpowered.
Her killer, 35-year-old Dudley Davey, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 32 years.
He pleaded guilty to murder, rape and stealing Ms Woodford's ambulance.
Under relatively recent legislative changes in South Australia, defendants who plead guilty early are entitled to sentencing discounts of up to 40 per cent.
The timing of Davey's pleas entitled him to a potential discount of up to 30 per cent.
The sentencing judge, Justice Ann Vanstone, said applying a discount of 30 per cent to his sentence would be inappropriate and disproportionate to the seriousness of the offending.
Justice Vanstone said it was a cold-blooded murder.
Davey lodged an appeal against his sentence, arguing it was manifestly excessive and did not include an appropriate sentencing discount.
His lawyer, Nick Vadasz, told the Court of Criminal Appeal that his client was entitled to expect a significant discount for his pleas.
"The expectation of every person coming before a criminal court on a criminal charge is that if they plead guilty early, they will get a 30 per cent discount, according to law," Mr Vadasz said.
But Justice Timothy Stanley rejected that interpretation.
"If there is that expectation, it's an expectation that falls well short of a guarantee, Mr Vadasz," he said.
Deterrence a priority, prosecutor tells court
Under South Australian law, there is a mandatory minimum non-parole period of 20 years for the crime of murder.
Issues around the conflict between the two pieces of legislation — for minimum sentences and also sentencing discounts — were raised during the appeal hearing.
Prosecutor Ian Press told the court the seriousness of the crime outweighed the court's discretion to impose significant discounts.
"There was a clear need to punish Mr Davey. There was a clear need to protect the community," Mr Press said.
"He clearly has a lack of insight into his own behaviour, he's clearly shown no remorse.
"His plea in this matter was certainly identified as a plea to the inevitable and... he denied when spoken to by police his involvement until his position became untenable."
Mr Press said the need to deter others from taking advantage of people in community assistance roles was very important.
"To abuse the position of trust that [Ms Woodford] had in the community by luring her out of her home for the purpose of raping her, it would be difficult, in my respectful submission, to find an example of a case or offence where general deterrence was more significant," he said.
The court, comprised of the Chief Justice Chris Kourakis and Justices Timothy Stanley and Martin Hinton, has reserved judgment.