Gareth Giles arrives at the Supreme Court before being sentenced to jail.

Gareth Giles arrives at the Supreme Court before being sentenced to jail. Photo: Ken Irwin

A killer who wrote an 18 point step-by-step plan on his computer on how to commit the perfect murder before he tied up and strangled a man near Geelong has been jailed for 26 years.

Supreme Court Justice Betty King said the murder plan found on loner Gareth Giles’ computer was titled: ‘‘The Advocate document’’.

Justice King said that 13 of the 18 steps in the murder plan corresponded in ‘‘a breathtaking way’’ to what Giles did on the night he and a co-accused, Christopher Coulter, murdered Russell Hammond.

Victim Russell Hammond.

Victim Russell Hammond.

Mr Hammond’s body was found burnt, bound and gagged in a paddock in Corio on January 5, 2012. His Mercedes-Benz was also found burnt out.

The murder plan on Giles’ computer created on November 13, 2011, read:

1. Catch bus to vic’s home.

2. Advocate makes an entrance 

3. Tie vic up with rope and duct tape.

4. Take vic’s possessions, ie car keys, shovels, wallet.

5. Take vic out back.

6. Throw vic in back of Vic’s car.

7. Throw vic’s possessions in back of car.

8. Drive to burial site.

13. Cover up blood with dirt.

14. Pack up tools.

15. Drive car to burning or drowning site.

17. Burn or drown vic’s car.

18. Leave?

‘‘What is not included are items 9 to 12 which entails the burying of the victim and the collecting of his skull,’’Justice King told Giles on Wednesday when jailing him for 26 years with a non-parole period of 21 years after he was found guilty by a jury last year of murder.

‘‘The victim does not have a name. It is just ‘vic’.

‘‘It is a chilling document because it is a plan to kill an unknown, random person.’’

Giles and Coulter both blamed each other for Mr Hammond’s murder, claiming they came out of the toilet at Mr Hammond’s home to find the other man strangling him.

Justice King told Giles, who claimed to have been relentlessly bullied and harassed at school, he was ‘‘a most difficult sentencing conundrum’’.

‘‘You are still young. You have no prior convictions. You have not behaved in the past in any anti-social manner. You have led, in the main, a quiet but reclusive life.

‘‘You are highly intelligent and, one would have expected, capable of learning and understanding the mores and social values of this country.

‘‘It is clear, however, from all the material presented in this case ... that you have an inability to understand or empathise with people on any ordinary, recognised level.’’

Giles had thought about killing someone over a period of time.

‘‘You have then, at some stage, some months at least prior to this murder, sat down and prepared a plan on how you would go about killing someone,’’ the judge said.

Giles had discussed with a friend what it would be like to kill an innocent person and that was precisely what he did.

‘‘The crime was entirely motiveless, except for your expressions to your friend about your curiosity and desire to see what it felt like to kill, all of which makes you a person that may be considered very dangerous to our community.’’  

As Giles was being led away by security after being jailed, he bowed to the judge and smiled.

Mr Hammond, 49, was killed some time on the night of January 5, 2012, at his home in Drysdale, near Geelong, before his body was dumped in an isolated area at Corio and set alight.

Coulter, 20, was jailed in February for 25 years. He was found unfit to stand trial because of mental impairment but, during a special hearing, a jury found him guilty of murder, arson and theft. Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth said he would remain in prison unless an application was made to the court to vary the order if there was any change to his behavioural problems.

Coulter had not met Mr Hammond before the night of his death but Giles had known him previously.

Giles had been on some kind of 'work for the dole' scheme when they met and about five years before his murder, Mr Hammond was kind enough to offer Giles somewhere to stay and supported him financially when he was homeless before he moved back home with his mother.

On the night of the murder, Coulter and Giles caught a bus from their Leopold home to Drysdale and when they arrived at Mr Hammond's house unannounced, he invited them in for a drink.