“You told them that you woke up to find her body next to you and that the body remained in the rooms for about three weeks before you disposed of it,” he said.
“You told police that you wrapped her body in a sleeping bag and were planning to bury it at the beach, which is what she had wished for.
“However, in the course of transporting the body, you saw a police car, panicked, and put the body in a skip. A couple of hours later you said you went back to the skip and the body was gone.”
The court heard Cooper had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and had been put on anti-psychotic medication.
Judge Everson said Cooper’s alcohol disorder needed to be taken into account, considering he would not have been acting in the way a rational person would.
“It is not normal to have a dead person in your room for three weeks,” he said.
“The whole scenario is, quite frankly, disturbingly bizarre.”
Ms Francis’ aunt, Janine Francis, who raised her from a young age, read her victim statement to the court from Victoria, saying her niece’s death was an “unimaginable ending” and that Cooper had desecrated Ms Francis’ body.
“I will never get to see Shae’s pretty face again,” she said.
“I will never get to hold Shae again.
“I will never get to tell her I love her.”
The court heard how Ms Francis suffered from alcoholism and had potassium and sodium deficiencies for which she had previously been hospitalised, and as such, could have suffered a cardiac arrest and died.
Judge Everson said Cooper deceived the family after Ms Francis had died by continuing communication with her aunt by impersonating Ms Francis and using her bank card days after her death.
Cooper used the money to buy alcohol and pay rent, his defence lawyer Lars Falcongreen said.
At the time of sentencing, Cooper had served almost 2½ years, or 896 days, in custody.
Showing no emotion, Cooper was sentenced for interfering with her corpse to 896 days imprisonment as time served, and another 12 months concurrently for fraud.
Outside court, Ms Francis’ mother Cheryl-Lee Francis said there was no justice for her daughter.
“This is absolutely horrific. There is no justice. A beautiful young lady is missing,” she said.