Utter contempt for her dignity': 36 years' jail for Aiia Maasarwe's murderer

| 30.10,19. 02:57 AM |


Utter contempt for her dignity': 36 years' jail for Aiia Maasarwe's murderer


Photo: Aiia Maasarwe was on a year-long exchange program in Melbourne when she was killed. (Instagram: Ruba Photography)


Photo: Codey Herrmann pleaded guilty to Aiia Maasarwe's rape and murder in June. (ABC News)

Codey Herrmann has been sentenced to 36 years in jail for the rape and murder of international student Aiia Maasarwe in Melbourne's north earlier this year.
Victorian Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth set a non-parole period of 30 years for what she described as an "unsophisticated and opportunistic attack".
Herrmann, now 21, attacked Ms Maasarwe as she was walking home from a tram in Bundoora just after midnight on January 16.
The 21-year-old Arab-Israeli student, who was on a year-long exchange from her university in Shanghai, was on her way back from a social night out with friends in the CBD.
Justice Hollingworth described her as a "friendly, optimistic and kind young woman who had her whole life in front of her".
Herrmann beat her with a pipe, dragged her behind some bushes, raped her and set fire to parts of her body.
"Treating her body this way showed utter contempt for her dignity," Justice Hollingworth said.
"You did this to try to hide evidence."
Earlier this month, Herrmann's lawyers told the court he had no explanation for the crime and could not remember the hours before the attack.
Ms Maasarwe's death prompted an outpouring of grief and outrage in Melbourne, where vigils were held in her honour and flowers were laid inside a Route 86 tram as it travelled through the city.
"Women should be free to walk the streets alone without fear of being attacked by strangers," Justice Hollingworth told the court.
Herrmann's history factors into sentence
Justice Hollingworth said Herrmann, who had an Aboriginal mother and German father, spent the first years of his life in an environment of "extreme physical and emotional depravation".
Herrmann had been diagnosed with drug-induced psychosis and severe personality disorder, and the judge said his life was in "profound chaos and despair before the murder". His already fragile mental health functions had begun to break down entirely, she said.
In sentencing, she took into account his age, his medical condition and the fact that he had pleaded guilty at the earliest possible opportunity, sparing the family the trauma of going to trial.
Justice Hollingworth also determined that Herrmann had fair prospects of rehabilitation, if he had appropriate support and supervision.
His lawyer had told the court that life in jail was better than living on the streets, Justice Hollingworth said.
She told Herrmann that Ms Maasarwe's death had "left an enormous hole" in her family's lives.
On the final day of his plea hearing last month, Herrmann told Ms Maasarwe's family, "I'm sorry".
But Justice Hollingworth said Herrmann's expressions of remorse had been "recent and limited".
She said although the prosecution had pushed for a life sentence, like the one given to rapist and murderer Jaymes Todd, the offenders' circumstances were different.
Revenge 'is not our compass', father says
Ms Maasarwe's father Saeed Maasarwe and sister Noor Maasarwe were in Melbourne to witness the sentencing.
Noor Maasarwe carried a bag with the words "do not objectify me" written on the side.
They were seated shortly before Herrmann was ushered into the dock, his shoulders slumped and wearing a blue t-shirt, ripped jeans and a pair of runners.
Before Justice Hollingworth took to the bench, Noor Maasarwe turned and glared at Herrmann in the dock. Her father never turned around.
As the judge described his crimes, Herrmann sat with his head lowered and hands in his lap.
Noor Maasarwe rested her head on her father's shoulder with her arm around him as he wiped away tears from his eyes with a tissue.
Herrmann continued to stare ahead, never once raising his eyes.
Outside court, Mr Maasarwe spoke through tears as he thanked the people of Melbourne for their support and said he did not want to focus on the length of Herrmann's sentence.
"We don't focus about the revenge," Mr Maasarwe said.
"This is not our compass, this is not our focus, but to care for the society, for the people, for the ladies [to be able to] go out and go back home."
He said he remembered his daughter as someone who was happy, positive and "liked to help anyone".
"She looked at the people — it doesn't matter which religion, which nation, which colour — she looked at the people on the same level [with] the same eyes," he said.
"She liked all the people, all humans — it didn't matter where and when. This is how I want to remember Aiia."
He also wanted to send a message to the Australian Government: "I wish and hope that they will care more for the people."


abc


(Votes: 0)

Other News

Swansea High School teacher's comments on rape investigated by NSW Government Townsville primary school teacher stabbed by 11-year-old student, police say Ramsar-protected Macquarie Marshes wetland on fire with 90pc of crucial reed bed razed Officer caught on video ramming teen with police car in Thornlie guilty of dangerous driving NSW fires ramp up again north of Forster-Tuncurry, residents urged to plan ahead Serial killer Ivan Milat dies aged 74 Residents told it's too late to leave as homes lost in NSW fires Two children found dead at Madeley home in Perth, mother under arrest RFS issue emergency warning for bushfire burning near Darawank NSW Police officer charged with assault after allegedly hitting 16yo with baton multiple times Police arrest two men over disappearance of Bingara man Darren Royce Willis St Kevin's College principal condemns 'foolish' students after sexist chant repeated in public Popular Sydney nightspot Café del Mar to shut for 24 hours after serving alcohol to underage teenagers 'The rent just keeps dropping': How Matt's Sydney property dreams fell apart Emergency services free teenager from under train at Edwardstown Fake online reviews hurting Australian businesses and consumers NSW police strip-search data shows lowest drug prosecution rate in seven years Police searching for dog and owner after boy, 11, bitten in Diamond Creek Australia's house prices boom, lifting $20,000 in three months NSW doctor charged with sexually assaulting male patient Two staff from Melbourne's injection centre arrested in relation to trafficking offences Sudden stratospheric warming is the unusual climate variation affecting ozone, heat and wind Peregian Beach bushfire under control on Queensland's Sunshine Coast after homes evacuated Teen girl 'humiliated' after errant police strip search at Splendour in the Grass, inquiry told NSW Government confirms seven new Sydney train stations for Metro West project Majority of off-the-plan apartments worth less than purchase price, data shows Gold Coast a hotspot for illegal hooning spurred on by car races, senior police warn Armed bandit with black-marker 'tattoos' jailed over robbery at Rockhampton service station Police arrest man over alleged sexual assault of woman in Thornbury park in Melbourne's north Man dies after being hit with firearm in Springfield Lakes car pursuit, two 19yo men charged with murder