NEW SOUTH WALES: Matthew Milat will spend at least 30 years behind bars for the “thrill kill” murder of an Aboriginal friend in the same forest where his great-uncle slayed seven backpackers.
But Donna Locke, mother of his victim, said: “He shouldn’t have been leaving (jail) until he was old and grey in a body bag, like my son left the forest.”
In sentencing Milat to a maximum 43 years in the NSW Supreme Court on Friday, Acting Justice Jane Mathews referred to his “admiration” of the criminality of his great-uncle, Ivan Milat.
The day after the axe murder Matthew Milat gloated, saying: “You know me, you know my family. You know the last name Milat. I did what they do.”
Milat and Cohen Klein, both 19, pleaded guilty to murdering David Auchterlonie on his 17th birthday in the Belanglo State Forest on November 20, 2010.
In 1996, Ivan Milat was sentenced to seven life terms for murdering seven backpackers whose bodies were found in the same NSW Southern Highlands forest.
Justice Mathews jailed Klein for a minimum of 22 and a maximum of 32 years, finding he was an impressionable young man strongly influenced by his co-accused.
She found Milat planned the murder, which Klein recorded on his phone.
“(Milat) took the life of an innocent young man who was unfortunate enough to be his friend in an unimaginable, cruel, brutal and violent manner solely for his own personal enjoyment.
“That any person, who is not suffering from a psychiatric disorder, could behave in such a manner is almost inconceivable.
“However, the evidence in this case points in that direction.”
She said the “extremely distressing” audio of the murder reveals that for the last 10 minutes of David’s life, when he was already seriously injured, he was “subjected to unimaginable torment by Milat”.
The double-bladed axe used by Milat “must have struck incredible fear in the heart” of David.
After the killing Milat said: “That was such an adrenaline rush” and Klein replied: “I told you that you’re going to go down the same path as your uncle.”
Justice Mathews referred to chilling poems written by Milat more than nine months after the murder.
They included one titled Cold Life, which ends: “I am not fazed by blood or screams, Nothing I do will haunt my dreams, Maybe they might scare you, Cold blooded killer that’s me not you.”
She rejected Milat’s recent claims of remorse, saying the poems showed the opposite in that he almost appeared to revel in the memory of this terrible event.
He remained “a serious potential danger to the community”, she said.
While she found Klein knew Milat was intending to murder David, she was not satisfied he was expecting to get a thrill out of the killing.
Outside court, Donna Locke said she was glad Milat did not get any less than 43 years “but it should have been life”.
David’s grandmother, Sandra Auchterlonie, said she was very happy that the judge ordered Milat, who was three months short of his 18th birthday at the time of the murder, to be taken out of the juvenile system and be put in an adult jail.
“He makes me sick,” she said.
“He is just so cold blooded, callous and heartless.”
David’s grandfather, also named David Auchterlonie, said taking someone’s life should mean incarceration for life, but the sentence imposed was at the high end of the scale.
“It might go somewhere to protect society,” he said.
The sentence was “just enough, more would have been better” provided he had to serve the maximum term.