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Murderer's parole appeal rejected

AN ADOPTED Eudlo local who brutally murdered his landlord and another boarder has lost his bid to reduce his non-parole jail period.

Andrew Frederick Smithers argued the 25 years before being eligible for parole was manifestly excessive and the sentencing justice paid insufficient regard to his guilty plea.

But three Court of Appeal justices agreed there was no point granting him a time extension to appeal because he would be unsuccessful.

Justice Robert Gotterson said one of the most "disturbing" features of the case was Smithers "seemed to blame (the victims) for the plight that they found themselves in".

"The case here, multiple acts of sustained and brutal violence, on separate occasions each resulting in the death of the victim, warranted the imposition of a release eligibility period in excess of the statuary 20 years," he said.

"The early guilty plea made in the face of an overwhelmingly strong case didn't counter balance against that."But for the plea of guilty, a higher sentence could properly have been imposed."

The frenzied, gruesome attack began when Smithers became enraged over a comment Ms Adams made about his wife.

Smithers stabbed Natalie Adams, 48, about 10 times on a Perrins Rd property where they were living on March 15, 2005.

When Earl Watson, 51, returned home to witness that murder, Smithers stabbed him 50 to 60 times, bashed him around the head with a fire poker and gouged his eyes out.

Smithers referred to "worse offenders" sentenced to less time, including a man who deliberately set fire to a home with three sleeping people, who perished, as vengeance and a man who killed two people in a hostel fire.

But Justice Gotterson said those cases involved one definable action that killed multiple people.

"In both of them the multiple deaths resulted from a single act where as here, the deaths resulted from gross brutality visited upon two victims at successive but distinctly different times," he said.

Topics:  court of appeal murder


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