Father tells of grief over Kiwi's murder

ANNE-LOUISE BROWN AND AAP
Last updated 20:37 10/09/2012
HAPPIER TIMES: Andy Marshall, right, with mum Wendy and dad Alan. The last time they spoke was on Mother's Day. Several hours later Andy was fatally attacked.
Fairfax NZ

HAPPIER TIMES: Andy Marshall, right, with mum Wendy and dad Alan. The last time they spoke was on Mother's Day. Several hours later Andy was fatally attacked.

Andy Marshall
KILLED DURING A NIGHT OUT: Andy Marshall was following his dream of becoming a professional musician in Australia.

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The father of Andy Marshall, who was pushed to his death from the second storey of a Perth pub, says his family will live with the pain his son's death for the rest of their lives.

Stefan Pahia Schmidt, 26, was today sentenced in the Supreme Court of Western Australia to a minimum of 14 years in prison for murdering Marshall. He was found guilty of the charge after a two-week trial in June.

Schmidt's sentence was backdated to May last year when he was arrested, which means he will be eligible for release in 2025, at age 40.

Outside the court in Perth this afternoon, Marshall's father, Alan, who lives in Hawke’s Bay, said his family was happy with the sentence, but they still felt grief and pain.

"We are close family, and I guess that's part of the problem - the more you love, the more it hurts, and the more you grieve," he said.

"Life is a battle. We climb a mountain every day. There is not a day you don't start with that deep sense of pain and grief inside you."

He said the family wanted to get on with their lives.

Schmidt was expected to be sentenced on Friday, but Justice Ralph Simmonds deferred it until today, while he considered matters including an unrelated 2010 case where a sentence of less than life was sought for murder.

Marshall's mother, Wendy, and sister and brother gave their victim impact statements via videolink from New Zealand.

Wendy Marshall likened her horror to being in “an avalanche of black snow”.

“The sense of loss is overwhelming,” she said.

Marshall was the first cousin of Scott Guy, the Feilding farmer who was gunned down in his driveway in July 2010.

He was following his dream of becoming a professional musician in Australia, and had lived in Perth for two years as the drummer for local band Rich Widow.

Marshall had been enjoying a night with mates at Cottesloe's Ocean Beach Hotel last May when he was murdered.

The court was told he had been talking to the girls with his back to the window when Schmidt swore at him and pushed him through it.

Schmidt then fled the pub, glancing to where Marshall lay dying on the footpath outside before departing.

It took just five hours for the jury to find Schmidt, a trained boxer and kickboxer with links to Perth's outlaw Rock Machine motorcycle gang, guilty of murder, rejecting less severe charges of manslaughter and unlawful assault causing death.

Defence lawyer Tom Percy had argued Schmidt merely fended Marshall off - not pushed him intentionally at a second-storey window – describing the murder as a "dreadful accident".

But witnesses spoke of an "agitated" Schmidt pushing Marshall with a forceful, thrusting motion and also viewed footage of Schmidt punching another pub patron in the face after he'd pushed Andy through a plate glass window.

Crown prosecutor Amanda Forrester last week said that a life sentence was entirely justified, and there needed to be  strong deterrents to acts of random violence in licensed venues.

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- WA Today

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