Matthew Milat loses appeal against murder sentence
Relatives of David Auchterlonie, who was murdered by teenagers Matthew Milat and Cohen Klein in Belanglo State Forest in 2010, say they're disappointed Klein has received a reduction in his minimum jail term.PT2M22S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-34r14 620 349 March 14, 2014
Convicted murderer Matthew Milat's bid to have his record 43-year jail sentence reduced on appeal has been rejected by the state's highest court.
But Milat's co-accused, Cohen Klein, has had two years taken off this minimum jail term, with the Court of Criminal Appeal finding he was not given the appropriate discount for an early guilty plea.
Matthew Milat entering Supreme Court in 2012. Photo: Edwina Pickles
In November 2010, Milat, then 17, lured friend David Auchterlonie, 17, to the Belanglo State Forest - the scene of his great-uncle Ivan Milat's infamous exploits - and murdered the youth with a double-sided axe.
In handing down the 43-year sentence, with a non-parole period of 30 years, in June 2012, Acting Justice Jane Mathews described the murder as an "adrenaline-fuelled thrill kill".
Milat, now 20, "tortured and tormented" his mate before striking him in the back of the head, Justice Mathews found, and later bragged about the crime to his mates and in a series of chilling jail-cell poems.
David Auchterlonie, 17, who was murdered in Belanglo State Forest. Photo: Supplied
The last, terrifying moments of David's life were recorded on a mobile phone by another of Milat's friends, Cohen Klein.
Klein was also convicted of murder for his role as a supporter and facilitator of the crime, and was sentenced to a minimum of 22 years' jail.
That sentence has now been reduced to 20 years, with his maximum sentence reduced from 32 years to 27.
Donna Locke, mother of murder victim David Auchterlonie, outside the court after the appeal. Photo: Ben Rushton
Both were appealing the "excessive" nature of their sentences.
Milat's barrister, John Stratton, SC, had told the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal that the sentence given to Milat was significantly out of step with other, equivalent murders.
Milat's 43-year jail sentence is the longest given to a juvenile in NSW, with the exception of a small number of cases that were subsequently reduced on appeal.
Speaking outside court, David Auchterlonie's mother, Donna Locke, said both appeals should have failed.
"I'm glad that Milat didn't get it but Klein shouldn't have got it either," Ms Locke said.
"He was involved, he knew about it, he planned it and he knew what was going to happen. They all knew what was going to happen.
"Every dog has its day, and since justice couldn't fully do the job, maybe karma will."
The victim's grandfather, David Auchterlonie Snr, said the reduction given to Klein was "another example of how the law is so far out of touch with the public".
"He [Klein] could have aborted it - he didn't," Mr Auchterlonie said.
"And then he tried to audio and video it. Sick."