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Summarising sentences from the Trial Division of the Supreme Court of Victoria

Please find below some recent sentence summaries including the charges, length of the sentence and links to full sentencing remarks.

2024

JUNE 2024

Sentence summaries:

DPP v Matthew Atkinson - 4 June 2024 - Manslaughter, trafficking in a drug of dependence

On 4 June 2024, Matthew Atkinson was sentenced on a charge of manslaughter and a charge of trafficking in a drug of dependence by Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Sentence summary

Matthew Atkinson pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Bjorn Delphine. He also pleaded guilty to a charge of trafficking in a drug of dependence, namely cannabis.

On 4 June 2024, Justice Hollingworth sentenced Mr Atkinson to 6 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 3 years and 6 months. Justice Hollingworth declared that Mr Atkinson had served 378 days of the sentence by way of pre-sentence detention.

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NOTE: This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.

MAY 2024

Sentence summaries:

DPP v Sven Lindemann - 22 May 2024 - Murder, recklessly causing injury

DPP v Lachlan Belmore - 3 May 2024 - Manslaughter

On 22 May 2024, Sven Lindemann was sentenced on a charge of murder and a charge of recklessly causing injury by Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Sentence summary

Sven Lindemann pleaded guilty to the murder of his partner, Monique Lezsak, and to recklessly causing injury to her young daughter.

On 22 May 2024, Justice Hollingworth sentenced Mr Lindemann to 31 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 25 years. Justice Hollingworth declared that Mr Lindemann had served 358 days of the sentence by way of pre-sentence detention.

When handing down the sentence, Justice Hollingworth spoke about family violence and said:

“Family violence is a serious problem in our community. The Court of Appeal noted a decade ago that ‘the shameful truth is that domestic violence is the leading cause of illness, disability and death among Victorian women aged between 15 and 44.’ Tragically, that remains the case today.

All too frequently, courts are faced with male offenders like you, who are unable or unwilling to accept that their relationship is over, or that their partner has a right to move on with their life, and who respond with anger, jealousy and violence. The murder of a domestic partner is the most extreme form of family violence.”

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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.

Watch the video of the sentencing
 

On 3 May 2024, Lachlan Belmore was sentenced on a charge of manslaughter by Justice Rita Incerti of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Sentence summary

Lachlan Belmore pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court of Victoria to the manslaughter of Griffin Harris.

On 3 May 2024, Justice Incerti sentenced Mr Belmore to 9 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 5 years and 6 months. Justice Incerti declared that Mr Belmore had served 571 days of the sentence by way of pre-sentence detention.

When handing down the sentence, Justice Incerti said:

“The community should understand that your actions in organising and bringing a firearm for the purpose of threatening another person is denounced by the Court. Even though you did not shoot Mr Harris or enter the house, it was you who made the decision that Mr Harris should be confronted and you who secured the rifle.”

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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.

APRIL 2024

Sentence summaries:

DPP v Christopher Hillman - 12 April 2024 - Murder, two charges of kidnapping, possessing a firearm as a prohibited person, common law assault

On 12 April 2024, Christopher Robert Hillman was sentenced by Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Sentence summary

Christopher Robert Hillman pleaded guilty to the murder of Jake John Williams. He also pleaded guilty to two charges of kidnapping, a charge of possessing a firearm as a prohibited person and common law assault.

On 12 April 2024, Justice Hollingworth sentenced Mr Hillman to 28 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 23 years. Justice Hollingworth declared that Mr Hillman had served 931 days of the sentence by way of pre-sentence detention.

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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.
 

MARCH 2024

Sentence summaries:

DPP v Yasemin Ozer - 19 March 2024 - Six charges of theft

DPP v Nikola Latuhoi - 15 March 2024 - Manslaughter

DPP v Ngoc Nguyen - 13 March 2024 - Manslaughter

DPP v Simiona Tuteru - 6 March 2024 - Failing to comply with duty as a person in the chain of responsibility for a heavy vehicle under section 26C of the Heavy Vehicle National Law

On 19 March 2024, Yasemin Ozer was sentenced on six charges of theft by the Honourable Justice Andrew Tinney of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Sentence summary

On 27 September 2023, Yasemin Ozer pleaded guilty to six charges of theft totalling a sum in excess of $500,000. 

On 19 March 2024, Justice Tinney sentenced Ms Ozer to a community correction order for a period of three years. 

When handing down the sentence, Justice Tinney said:

“As I said at the outset, in ordinary circumstances, you could have expected to receive a substantial term of imprisonment. As I also said, however, and as I have justified throughout these reasons, the circumstances of your case are far from ordinary.”

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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.

Watch the video of the sentencing
 

On 15 March 2024, Nikola Latuhoi was sentenced on a charge of manslaughter by Justice John Champion of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Sentence summary

On 20 July 2023, Nikola Latuhoi pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Ikenasio Tuivasa.

On 15 March 2024, Justice Champion sentenced Mr Latuhoi to 12 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 9 years. Justice Champion declared that Mr Latuhoi had served 976 days of the sentence by way of pre-sentence detention.

When handing down the sentence, Justice Champion said:

“It is agreed that you are to be sentenced for manslaughter on the basis that you knew the shooter, your co offender, was going to fire shots toward a crowd of people, which is an unlawful and dangerous act. Your counsel conceded that you assisted the co accused in committing this act, by driving him to the location, intentionally stopping the car while the shots were fired, and then driving away. It was acknowledged on your behalf that your offending was serious.”

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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.

Watch the video of the sentencing 

On 13 March 2024, Ngoc Nguyen was sentenced on a charge of manslaughter by Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Sentence summary

On 30 October 2023, Ngoc Nguyen pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Peter McDougall.

On 13 March 2024, Justice Hollingworth sentenced Mr Nguyen to 8 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 5 years and 6 months. Justice Hollingworth declared that Mr Nguyen had served 828 days of the sentence by way of pre-sentence detention.

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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.
 

On 6 March 2024, Simiona (Simon) Tuteru was sentenced by the Honourable Justice James Elliott of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Sentence summary

Simiona (Simon) Tuteru was the supervisor of a truck driver, Mohinder Singh, who was responsible for culpable driving causing the deaths of 4 police officers on 22 April 2020 on the Eastern Freeway in Melbourne.

Mr Tuteru was ultimately charged with 1 count of failing to comply with his duty as a person in the chain of responsibility for a heavy vehicle pursuant to section 26C of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (“National Law”), contrary to section 26F of the National Law.  It was alleged that Mr Tuteru was  reckless as to the possibility that by allowing Mr Singh to drive on the afternoon of 22 April 2020, both Mr Singh and third parties would be exposed to a risk of death or serious injury.  

Mr Tuteru sought a sentence indication in relation to the charge.  During the sentence indication hearing, the prosecution accepted that a non-custodial sentence was within the range of appropriate sentences and submitted that any fine or community correction order imposed must be substantial in order to reflect the seriousness of the breach of section 26F of the National Law. 

Upon receipt of a sentence indication, Mr Tuteru pleaded guilty. 

On 6 March 2024, his Honour sentenced Mr Tuteru to a community correction order, which included a condition that Mr Tuteru complete 200 hours of unpaid community work over 3 years.  

When handing down Mr Tuteru’s sentence, Justice Elliott observed:
“[General deterrence] is a relevant factor to be given significant weight in determining your sentence. A national legislative scheme in relation to heavy vehicles was introduced in recognition of the serious and potentially tragic consequences that can result from a failure to observe appropriate safety measures in this context.  Equally, denunciation is a further factor to be taken into account in seeking to ensure that appropriate practices and procedures are adopted to make the trucking industry as safe as it can reasonably be.”


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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.
 

FEBRUARY 2024

Sentence summaries:

DPP v Luay Sako - 29 February 2024 - Murder

DPP v LH Holding & Hanna - 19 February 2024 - Workplace manslaughter/Being an officer of a company that committed workplace manslaughter where the contravention was attributable to the officer's failure to take reasonable care

On 29 February 2024, Luay Sako was sentenced on a charge of murder by Justice Jane Dixon of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Sentence summary

Luay Sako pleaded guilty to the murder of Celeste Manno on 16 November 2020.

On 29 February 2024, Justice Dixon sentenced Mr Sako to 36 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 30 years.

Justice Dixon declared that Mr Sako had served 1200 days of the sentence by way of pre-sentence detention.

When handing down the sentence, Justice Dixon said:

“Crimes such as this are profoundly disturbing to all who hear about them and must be firmly denounced. I have kept in mind the devastating impact of your offence on Celeste’s family and friends. The objective gravity of your offending is extremely high, but your psychiatric condition at the time of the offending reduces your moral culpability to some degree. General and specific deterrence, denunciation and just punishment remain relevant in sentencing you. I am also cognisant of the principles of parsimony and proportionality.”
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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.

On 19 February 2024, LH Holding Management Pty Ltd and Laith Hanna were sentenced by Justice Michael Croucher of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Sentence summary

On 25 July 2023, LH Holding Management Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to a charge of workplace manslaughter in relation to the death of Michael Tsahrelias.

On the same day, Laith Hanna pleaded guilty to a charge of being an officer of a company that committed workplace manslaughter where that contravention was attributable to the officer’s failure to take reasonable care.

It was the first prosecution for the offence of workplace manslaughter and also the first prosecution for an officer’s offence where workplace manslaughter was attributable to the officer’s failure to take reasonable care.

On 19 February 2024, Justice Croucher sentenced LH Holding and fined the company $1,300,000.

On the same day, Justice Croucher sentenced Mr Hanna to a two-year community corrections order with additional conditions that Mr Hanna complete 200 hours of unpaid community work and that he complete a course in forklift operation.

Justice Croucher also ordered that LH Holding and Mr Hanna pay Georgia Tsahrelias $120,000 in compensation. 

In his full written reasons handed down on 6 March 2024, Justice Croucher said:

“Companies and their officers must understand that offences that involve negligent conduct in the workplace in breach of duties under the [Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004], and that result in death, are serious and will attract substantial and just punishment that reflects the profound harm caused to the deceased and his or her loved ones.”
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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.
 

2023

DECEMBER 2023

Sentence summaries:

DPP v Darren Chalmers - 18 December 2023 - Murder

DPP v Abil Malovski - 13 December 2023 - Attempted murder

DPP v Tia Minhinnick - 11 December 2023 - Murder

DPP v Jordan Bottom & Rikki Smith - 8 December 2023 - False imprisonment, assault / false imprisonment, assault, intentionally causing injury

DPP v Troy Maskell - 6 December 2023 - Manslaughter

DPP v Albert Thorn - 4 December 2023 - Murder, assault, intentionally causing injury, kidnapping, false imprisonment

On 18 December 2023, Darren Chalmers was sentenced on a charge of murder by the Honourable Justice Andrew Tinney of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Sentence summary

On 6 September 2023, Darren Chalmers pleaded guilty to the murder of Annette Steward in Geelong on 16 March 1992. 

On 12 May 2019, Mr Chalmers murdered Dianne Barrett in Perth and was sentenced on 28 January 2021 in the Supreme Court of Western Australia to life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 20 years.

On 18 December 2023, Justice Tinney sentenced Mr Chalmers for the murder of Ms Steward.  His Honour sentenced Mr Chalmers to life imprisonment and set a new non-parole period of 36 years.  The new non-parole period commenced on 18 December 2023.

When handing down the sentence, Justice Tinney said:

“As far as denunciation is concerned, the sentence of this Court must unambiguously demonstrate this Court’s condemnation and abhorrence on behalf of the community of the type of violent criminality in which you engaged in this case, through which you cut short the life of an innocent and defenceless young woman who had done you no harm and shown you nothing but kindness. Male violence towards females is at the heart of so many crimes which come before this Court, and is a very disturbing part of the fabric or our society.”

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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.

Watch the video of the sentencing
 

On 13 December 2023, Abil Malovski was sentenced on a charge of attempted murder by Justice Andrew Tinney of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

SENTENCE SUMMARY

On 24 October 2023, following a trial by jury, Abil Malovski was found guilty of the attempted murder of Steven Grant.  Earlier, on 9 October 2023, Mr Malovski pleaded guilty to the charge of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.

On 13 December 2023, Justice Tinney sentenced Mr Malovski to 20 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 15 years. Justice Tinney declared that Mr Malovski had served 583 days of the sentence by way of pre-sentence detention.

When handing down the sentence, Justice Tinney said:

“Turning to general deterrence, male violence towards former intimate partners, or towards new friends of former intimate partners, is a depressingly frequent occurrence in our society, and is to be deplored and discouraged. The sentence I pass on you must be such as to clearly bring it home to any male, or any person, who would seek to wreak violent retribution against another person motivated by a refusal to accept or deal with the end of a relationship, that such conduct will be met with very strong punishment.”

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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.

On 11 December 2023, Tia Minhinnick was sentenced on a charge of murder by Justice Richard Niall of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

SENTENCE SUMMARY

On 7 July 2023, Tia Minhinnick pleaded guilty to the murder of his mother, Angela Huata.

On 11 December 2023, Justice Niall sentenced Mr Minhinnick to 21 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 15 years’ imprisonment. Justice Niall declared that Mr Minhinnick had served 665 days of the sentence by way of pre-sentence detention.

When handing down the sentence, Justice Niall said:

“There are a number of features of your offending, Mr Minhinnick, that make it a serious example of murder. Ms Huata was vulnerable, especially because of her disability. She was in her own home, a place where she was entitled to be safe. You were subject of a family violence intervention order in relation to your mother, which aggravates your conduct. The attack on her was protracted, extremely violent and unremitting.”

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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.
 

On 8 December 2023, Jordan Bottom and Rikki Smith were sentenced by Justice Andrew Tinney of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

SENTENCE SUMMARY

On 16 June 2023, following a trial by jury, Jordan Bottom was found guilty of false imprisonment and common law assault in relation to Bradley Lyons.  Rikki Smith was also found guilty of false imprisonment and common law assault, and had previously pleaded guilty to intentionally causing injury.  The jury found both Mr Bottom and Mr Smith not guilty of murder.

At the same time, the jury found their co-accused Albert Thorn guilty of the murder of Bradley Lyons.  Mr Thorn was also found guilty of common law assault, intentionally causing injury, kidnapping and false imprisonment.  On 4 December 2023, Justice Tinney sentenced Mr Thorn

On 8 December 2023, Justice Tinney sentenced Mr Bottom to nine years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of six years and Mr Smith to 10.5 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of seven years.  Justice Tinney declared that both Mr Bottom and Mr Smith had served 1730 days of the sentence by way of pre-sentence detention.

When handing down the sentences, Justice Tinney said:

“Yours were not spontaneous or impulsive criminal acts, committed in haste and without sufficient thought. These were well-planned, well-executed criminal offences, carried out with truly chilling callousness and disregard for the wellbeing of a fellow human being. You had ample time throughout that afternoon and evening to reflect on what you were doing and to desist. You did not do so. Your crimes were an affront to normal, decent society.”

Four other co-accused have also been sentenced following guilty pleas:

  • Alec Harvey was sentenced by Justice Taylor on 13 August 2020 on one charge of false imprisonment, one charge of intentionally causing injury and one charge of assisting an offender to eight years and six months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of five years and six months;
  • Jayden Ball was sentenced by Justice Taylor on 28 September 2020 on one charge of intentionally causing injury to two years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 15 months; and
  • Jana Hooper and Nick Keith Stefani were sentenced by Justice Tinney on 22 December 2022. Jana Hooper was sentenced on one charge of intentionally causing injury, one charge of kidnapping and one charge of false imprisonment to seven years and six months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of four years and six months. Nick Stefani was sentenced on one charge of intentionally causing injury, one charge of kidnapping, one charge of false imprisonment and one charge of assault to ten years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of eight years.

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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.

On 6 December 2023, Troy Maskell was sentenced on a charge of manslaughter by Justice Lex Lasry of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

SENTENCE SUMMARY

On 14 August 2023, following a trial by jury, Troy Matthew Maskell was found guilty of the manslaughter of John Edward Burke.

On 6 December 2023, Justice Lasry sentenced Mr Maskell to eight years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of five years. Justice Lasry declared that Mr Maskell had served 652 days of the sentence by way of pre-sentence detention.

When handing down the sentence, Justice Lasry said:

“I want to say yours is the kind of violence that society abhors but I am no longer confident that is true. The incidence and acceptance of gratuitous violence shows no sign of diminishing as middle-aged men, particularly, feel the need for some kind of machismo acceptance regardless of who the victim is. Very often it is women. In this case, a vulnerable man in his 70s who had no hope of defending himself.”

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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.

Watch the video of the sentencing
 

On 4 December 2023, Albert Thorn was sentenced by Justice Andrew Tinney of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

SENTENCE SUMMARY

On 16 June 2023, following a trial by jury, Albert Thorn was found guilty of the murder of Bradley Lyons.  Mr Thorn was also found guilty of common law assault, intentionally causing injury, kidnapping and false imprisonment.  He pleaded guilty to the latter three charges in front of the jury on 24 April 2023.

At the same time, the jury found Mr Thorn’s co-accused Jordan Bottom guilty of false imprisonment and common law assault and Rikki Smith guilty of false imprisonment, common law assault and intentionally causing injury.  On 8 December 2023, Justice Tinney sentenced Mr Bottom and Mr Smith.

On 4 December 2023, Justice Tinney sentenced Mr Thorn to life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 32 years.  Justice Tinney declared that Mr Thorn had served 1727 days of the sentence by way of presentence detention.

When handing down the sentence, Justice Tinney said:

“The crimes for which you fall to be sentenced are examples of vigilante justice inflicted by you in company with others upon a helpless and outnumbered man who, throughout the many hours of the terrifying ordeal leading up to his shocking death, was treated by you with violence and disdain, reflecting the hatred you felt for him... and your strongly-held view that you should be entitled to deal with him as you wished.”

Four other co-accused have also been sentenced following guilty pleas:

  • Alec Harvey was sentenced by Justice Taylor on 13 August 2020 on one charge of false imprisonment, one charge of intentionally causing injury and one charge of assisting an offender to eight years and six months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of five years and six months;
  • Jayden Ball was sentenced by Justice Taylor on 28 September 2020 on one charge of intentionally causing injury to two years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 15 months; and
  • Jana Hooper and Nick Keith Stefani were sentenced by Justice Tinney on 22 December 2022. Jana Hooper was sentenced on one charge of intentionally causing injury, one charge of kidnapping and one charge of false imprisonment to seven years and six months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of four years and six months. Nick Stefani was sentenced on one charge of intentionally causing injury, one charge of kidnapping, one charge of false imprisonment and one charge of assault to ten years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of eight years.

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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.

Watch the video of the sentencing

NOVEMBER 2023

Sentence summaries:

DPP v Paul Charlton - 29 November 2023 - Murder

DPP v Abdullah El Nasher - 28 November 2023 - Murder, intentionally causing serious injury

DPP v Ashley Feetham - 23 November 2023 - Murder, intentionally causing serious injury

DPP v William Scriven - 9 November 2023 - Aggravated burglary, two charges intentionally causing serious injury in circumstances of gross violence, theft

On 29 November 2023, Paul Charlton was sentenced on one charge of murder by the Honourable Justice James Elliott of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

SENTENCE SUMMARY

On 6 July 2023, following a trial by jury, Paul Ross Charlton was found guilty of the murder of Joanne Howell on 21 April 2007.

On 29 November 2023, his Honour sentenced Mr Charlton to 24 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 19 years.  His Honour declared that Mr Charlton had served 302 days of the sentence by way of pre-sentence detention.

When handing down the sentence, Justice Elliott observed:

“Murder is a gravely serious offence. You brutally murdered Ms Howell in her home where she was entitled to feel safe.  It is a significant aggravating factor that your offending was an extreme act of domestic violence.”

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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.
 

On 28 November 2023, Abdullah El Nasher was sentenced by Justice Christopher Beale of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Sentence summary

On 5 June 2023, following a trial by jury, Abdullah El Nasher was found guilty of the murder of Benjamin Togiai, not guilty of the attempted murder of Omar Bchinnati, and guilty of intentionally causing serious injury to Mr Bchinnati.  Mr El Nasher subsequently pleaded guilty to the offences of being a prohibited person possessing a firearm and a prohibited person using a firearm.

On 28 November 2023, Justice Beale sentenced Mr El Nasher to 29 years and three months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 22 years.  Justice Beale declared that Mr El Nasher had served 1726 days of the sentence by way of presentence detention.

When handing down the sentence, Justice Beale said:

“Clearly the jury rejected your defence of self-defence. There was no independent evidence that supported it. On the contrary, there was independent evidence which supported your role as being that of an aggressor, especially the CCTV footage of you moving boldly up onto the footpath after firing your five shots, rather than trying to get away.”

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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.

 

On 23 November 2023, Ashley Roy Feetham was sentenced on a charge of murder and a charge of intentionally causing serious injury by Justice Stephen Kaye of the Supreme Court of Victoria. 

SENTENCE SUMMARY

On 20 October 2023, following a trial by jury, Ashley Roy Feetham was found guilty of the murder of Dylan Bond and guilty of intentionally causing serious injury to Heath Bond.

On 23 November 2023, Justice Kaye sentenced Mr Feetham to 22 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 16 years.  Justice Kaye declared that Mr Feetham had served 168 days of the sentence by way of presentence detention.

When handing down the sentence, Justice Kaye said:

“As I have concluded, while your actions were motivated by a desire to defend yourself against Heath Bond and Dylan Bond, they significantly exceeded that which you regarded as being necessary in order to protect yourself from them, and your actions were entirely disproportionate to the degree of threat that they posed to you. The use by you of a knife was not only unnecessary, but plainly, it could only have ended with the tragic consequences, which ensued from your resort to the use of it.”

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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.
 

On 9 November 2023, William James Scriven was sentenced by Justice Christopher Beale of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Sentence summary

On 9 September 2022, William James Scriven pleaded guilty to one charge of aggravated burglary, two charges of causing serious injury intentionally in circumstances of gross violence and one charge of theft.

On 9 November 2023, Justice Beale sentenced Mr Scriven with regards to all four charges to a total effective sentence of 12 years and 9 months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 10 years. Justice Beale declared that Mr Scriven had served 1631 days of the sentence by way of pre-sentence detention.

When handing down the sentence, Justice Beale said:

“…this brutal offending occurred within a few weeks of you being released from custody, having been in custody for over a year… The fact that your offending occurred so soon after being released from a lengthy period in custody and whilst you were on a community corrections order is a circumstance of considerable aggravation.”

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NOTE: This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.

OCTOBER 2023

Sentence summaries:

DPP v MA - 19 October 2023 - Manslaughter

DPP v Biannca Edmunds - 3 October 2023 - Murder

On 19 October 2023, MA was sentenced on a charge of manslaughter by Justice Michael Croucher of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

SENTENCE SUMMARY

On 8 May 2023, following a trial by jury, MA was found guilty of the manslaughter of Adam Cassar.

MA was a minor at the time of the offending, and under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 cannot be identified.

On 19 October 2023, Justice Croucher sentenced MA to six years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of three years. Justice Croucher declared that MA had served 630 days of the sentence by way of pre-sentence detention.

When handing down the sentence, Justice Croucher said:

”All persons, whether young or old, should understand that the carrying of knives in public for no lawful purpose can lead to tragic consequences of the kind that occurred here. It must stop. Further, when that behaviour results in the commission of manslaughter, as here, it is denounced all the more, and must attract punishment that is just in all the circumstances.”

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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.
 

On 3 October 2023, Biannca Edmunds was sentenced on a charge of murder by Justice Lex Lasry of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

SENTENCE SUMMARY

On 17 December 2022, following a trial by jury, Biannca Edmunds was found guilty of the murder of Michael Caposiena.  Mr Caposiena was murdered on 12 March 2016 by Ms Edmunds’ husband, Glenn Cassidy. Mr Cassidy also died at the scene.  The jury found Ms Edmunds guilty on the basis that she was complicit in Mr Caposiena’s murder. 

On 3 October 2023, Justice Lasry sentenced Ms Edmunds to 26 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 20 years.  Justice Lasry declared that Ms Edmunds had served 625 days of the sentence by way of pre-sentence detention.

When handing down the sentence, Justice Lasry said:

“So, what is now to be said about this whole sorry saga? First, your conduct is to be condemned because you decided to try to avoid an inconvenient family law dispute by the use of homicidal violence. I am sure many family law litigants feel anger and frustration at the process but fortunately, they are prepared to abide the application of the law. Second, you relatively easily persuaded Cassidy to do the killing. Third, the planning and thought that went into Caposiena’s death, though totally misguided, was lengthy, careful and designed to avoid criminal liability for you. These factors add up to a degree of entitlement that is at the extreme end of any scale.”

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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.

Watch the video of the sentencing

SEPTEMBER 2023

Sentence summaries:

DPP v Stuart Heron - 8 September 2023 - Murder

DPP v Shannon Jeffrey - 8 September 2023 - Manslaughter

DPP v Jesse Tovey - 5 September 2023 - Manslaughter

On 8 September 2023, Stuart Lindsay Heron was sentenced on a charge of murder by Justice Michael Croucher of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

SENTENCE SUMMARY

On 14 March 2023, Stuart Heron pleaded guilty to the murder of Nicholas Cameron.

On 8 September 2023, Justice Croucher sentenced Mr Heron to 22 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 15 years. Justice Croucher declared that Mr Heron had served 791 days of the sentence by way of pre-sentence detention.

When handing down the sentence, Justice Croucher said:

”I have found it more difficult than usual to arrive at what I consider to be a just and appropriate sentence in this particular case. Objectively, Mr Heron’s crime is dreadful and disturbing, and deserving of heavy condemnation and condign punishment. Yet he is, in essence, a good person who is terribly troubled at the horror of what he has done, and wishes to take responsibility for his crime.”

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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.
 

On 8 September 2023, Shannon Jeffrey was sentenced on a charge of manslaughter by Justice Michael Croucher of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

SENTENCE SUMMARY

On 5 July 2023, Shannon Jeffrey pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Kobie Parfitt.

On 8 September 2023, Justice Croucher sentenced Ms Jeffrey to 10 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 7 years. Justice Croucher declared that Ms Jeffrey had served 748 days of the sentence by way of pre-sentence detention.

When handing down the sentence, Justice Croucher said:

”After the killing, [Ms Jeffrey] had oodles of time to reflect on her actions and to choose to do the decent thing thereafter. Thus, she might have come forward and explained what she had done and where she had dumped Ms Parfitt’s body. This might have gone some way to lessening the family’s suffering. But she chose instead to do nothing…”

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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.
 

On 5 September 2023, Jesse Tovey was sentenced on a charge of manslaughter by Justice Michael Croucher of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

SENTENCE SUMMARY

Jesse Tovey pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of his brother, Joshua Tovey.

On 5 September 2023, Justice Croucher sentenced Mr Tovey to 8 years and 3 months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 5 years. Justice Croucher declared that Mr Tovey had served 861 days of the sentence by way of pre-sentence detention.

When handing down the sentence, Justice Croucher said:

“…whatever passed between them in those crucial moments, Jesse Tovey is distraught at his brother’s death. Further, on his own admission, he is criminally responsible for that terrible outcome. In the eyes of some, and in his own mind, he may well have to bear the mark of Cain for life.”
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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.
 

AUGUST 2023

Sentence summaries:

DPP v Zoran Pandilovski - 30 August 2023 - Murder

DPP v Klay Holland - 29 August 2023 - Rape

DPP v Corey Smart, Brayden Smart, Abraham Abas - 17 August 2023 - Manslaughter

DPP v Joshua Rider & Aaron Ong - 10 August 2023 - Murder

On 30 August 2023, Zoran Pandilovski was sentenced on a charge of murder by Justice Christopher Beale of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

SENTENCE SUMMARY

On 17 April 2023, Zoran Pandilovski pleaded guilty to the murder of his former wife, Elaine Pandilovski.

On 30 August 2023, Justice Beale sentenced Mr Pandilovski to 24 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 17 years. Justice Beale declared that Mr Pandilovski had served 1141 days of the sentence by way of pre-sentence detention.

When handing down the sentence, Justice Beale said:

“Elaine was 44 at the time of her death. The way she died would have been terrifying. Not only did you cut short her life, but you have also visited great suffering and loss on her loved ones. Their mental and physical health have been damaged by your crime.”

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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.

Listen to the audio of the sentencing.

 

On 29 August 2023, Klay Holland was sentenced on a charge of rape by Justice Christopher Beale of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

SENTENCE SUMMARY

On 7 March 2023, following a trial by jury, Klay Holland was found not guilty of the manslaughter of Shane Cox, but guilty of the rape of Shane Cox.

On 29 August 2023, Justice Beale sentenced Mr Holland to 8 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 4 years and 10 months.  Justice Beale declared that Mr Holland had served 858 days of the sentence by way of presentence detention.

When handing down the sentence, Justice Beale said:

“Your rape of Mr Cox was a callous, degrading and humiliating act of retribution.”

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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.

Listen to the audio of the sentencing.
 

On 17 August 2023, Corey Smart, Brayden Smart and Abraham Abas were each sentenced on a charge of manslaughter by Justice Jane Dixon of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

SENTENCE SUMMARY

On 30 May 2023, Corey Smart, Brayden Smart and Abraham Abas each pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Nicholas Lee Henry.

On 17 August 2023, Justice Jane Dixon sentenced:

  • Corey Smart to 8 years and 6 months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 5 years;
  • Brayden Smart to 7 years and 6 months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 4 years and six months; and
  • Abraham Abas to 7 years and 6 months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 4 years and six months.

When handing down the sentence, Justice Dixon said:

“Whilst manslaughter is an offence that can give rise to a wide range of factual circumstances, the grievous loss of a young man’s life by an unlawful and dangerous stabbing is a terrible thing, not just for his family and friends, but for the community as a whole.”

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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.

Watch the video of the sentencing.
 

On 10 August 2023, Joshua Rider and Aaron Ong were each sentenced on a charge of murder by Justice Christopher Beale of the Supreme Court of Victoria. 

SENTENCE SUMMARY

On 9 November 2023, Joshua Rider pleaded guilty to the murder of Paul Virgona.

On 5 December 2022, following a trial by jury, Aaron Ong was found guilty of the murder of Paul Virgona.

On 10 August 2023, Justice Beale sentenced:

  • Mr Rider to 30 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 21 years; and
  • Mr Ong to 35 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 24 years and six months.

When handing down the sentence, Justice Beale said:

“The impact of your actions has been horrendous for Mr Virgona and his family.  An innocent man aged 46 has had his life cut short.”
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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.

JULY 2023

Sentence summaries:

DPP v Dael Newman - 27 July 2023 - Murder, causing injury recklessly

On 27 July 2023, Dael John Newman was sentenced on a charge of murder and a charge of causing injury recklessly by Justice Jane Dixon of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

SENTENCE SUMMARY

On 16 March 2023, Dael John Newman pleaded guilty to the murder of David Gaskell and to having caused injury recklessly to Karen Lyons.

On 27 July 2023, Justice Jane Dixon sentenced Mr Newman to:

  • 20 years and 6 months’ imprisonment for murder; and
  • 12 months' imprisonment for causing injury recklessly, with six months to be served cumulatively.

The total effective sentence was 21 years’ imprisonment.  A non-parole period of 16 years was fixed.

Justice Dixon declared Mr Newman had served 480 days of the sentence by way of pre-sentence detention.

When handing down the sentence, Justice Dixon said:

“The sentence I will impose on you reflects the gravity of the crime of murder, involving as it does, the loss of a human life.”

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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.

Watch the video of the sentencing.
 

JUNE 2023

Sentence summaries:

DPP v Tyson Armstrong - 30 June 2023 - Manslaughter

DPP v Rebecca Payne - 1 June 2023 - Murder

On 30 June 2023, Tyson Armstrong was sentenced on a charge of manslaughter by Justice Andrew Tinney of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

SENTENCE SUMMARY

On 1 December 2022, Tyson Armstrong pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Luke Francis.

On 30 June 2023, Justice Tinney sentenced Mr Armstrong to 10 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 8 years. Justice Tinney declared that Mr Armstrong had served 191 days of the sentence by way of pre-sentence detention.

When handing down the sentence, Justice Tinney said:

“Your actions were those of a violent and drunken thug, and your conduct has brought about utter devastation to Luke and his family and friends. Such conduct causes enormous and justifiable anguish and concern in our wider community.”

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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for sentence.

Watch the video of the sentencing.
 

On 1 June 2023, Rebecca Payne was sentenced on a charge of murder by Justice Rita Incerti of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Sentence summary

On 15 March 2023, following a trial by jury, Rebecca Payne was found guilty of the murder of her husband Noel Payne.

On 1 June 2023, Justice Incerti sentenced Ms Payne to 16 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 10 years.  Justice Incerti declared that Ms Payne had served 1000 days of the sentence by way of pre-sentence detention.

When handing down the sentence, Justice Incerti said:

“I regard this as an unusual case and the sentence I will impose needs to reflect the circumstances.  This is a case that calls out loudly for the exercise of the discretion of mercy, to reflect the underlying sense of humanity which guides proper sentencing. I think that an element of mercy is due to you because of the circumstances in which you offended.”
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NOTE:  This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the full reasons for the sentence.