A man who stabbed a young mother to death in a frenzied, random attack as she slept on the floor of her friend's house has been jailed for life.
The murder of 23-year-old Queensland woman Gabrielle Marshall was described by Tasmania Supreme Court Justice Tamara Jago as one of the worst cases.
Ms Marshall had moved to the island state town of Ulverstone two weeks before being stabbed 17 times by Colin William Drake in June 2021.
She intended to make a fresh start after leaving a bad relationship and work towards living with her then-six-year-old daughter.
Drake, who lived about 200m down the road in assisted accommodation, broke a supervision order when he snuck out in the early hours of the morning with two knives.
Ms Marshall's friend awoke to screaming and bangs coming from the living room.
She armed herself with a knife and confronted Drake whose face was covered in blood.
Justice Jago said Drake presented a lifelong danger to the community and his capacity for rehabilitation was limited by his intellectual disability and personality traits.
She said Drake showed a "degree of cunning" after the murder and lied to his carers and police afterward.
Drake, who was arrested the next day at the accommodation, said he broke a knife trying to fix a cupboard and the blade could not be retrieved because it was in too many pieces.
The blade was found under Ms Marshall's body.
Justice Jago said it was not possible to determine Drake's motive.
She said he might have been driven by a fixation on obtaining cigarettes or sexual desire and might have picked the house because he knew women lived there.
"Whatever (the motivation) the end result was extreme violence upon a vulnerable victim," Justice Jago said.
"(The attack was) frenzied and persistent.
"It must have been terrifying for Ms Marshall."
Drake, 37, who pleaded guilty in September, was jailed for the term of his natural life and will not be eligible for parole until 2041.
Tasmania's parole board will decide if Drake is safe to be released.
A mental health report in June 2021 noted Drake engaged poorly with rules, had assaulted a carer and had dangerous implements in his room.
The report noted there were not sufficient resources to manage him in the community.
Drake, who was charged with aggravated burglary and arson in 2012, had a childhood of neglect and deprivation, Justice Jago said.
Justice Jago said the murder had caused immense pain to Ms Marshall's family.
In November, Ms Marshall's parents told the court she felt the safest she had been in Tasmania and would call every night.
"Just like that she was gone," her mother said.
"You never think anything like this would happen to your family."