Killer's murdering nephew fails in appeal bid

PAUL BIBBY
Last updated 13:44 14/03/2014
Matthew Milat
Fairfax Australia
KILLER: Matthew Milat, great-nephew of serial killer Ivan Milat.
David Auchterlonie
Fairfax Australia
VICTIM: David Auchterlonie was murdered with a double-bladed axe.

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Convicted murderer Matthew Milat's bid to have his record 43-year jail sentence reduced on appeal has been rejected by the New South Wales’ 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.

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.

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.

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.

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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