Aiia Maasarwe’s killer will not increase his 36-year sentence

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Judge refuses to increase jail sentence for ‘cruel and insensitive’ beast who raped and murdered international student Aiia Maasarwe

  • Codey Herrmann raped and murdered international student Aiia Maasarwe
  • The heinous crime sent shockwaves through Melbourne in early 2019
  • Murderer was sentenced to 36 years behind bars and was not renewed
  • Kerri Judd QC said Herrmann should have been given a maximum life sentence

Aiia Maasarwe, 21, (pictured) was on her way home to Melbourne in January 2019 when she was raped and murdered by Codey Herrmann after getting off a tram in Bundoora

The man who brutally raped and murdered international student Aiia Maasarwe in Melbourne has not been given an extension of his prison sentence.

Victorian prosecutors appealed the maximum sentence of 36 years imposed on Codey Herrmann for the horrific rape and murder of Mrs Maasarwe in January 2019.

The Director of Public Prosecutions thought Herrmann should have been sentenced to life in prison for his crimes.

“This was a cruel, heartless and deliberate murder of an unsuspecting young woman who was the unfortunate and arbitrary victim of primitive male anger,” Kerri Judd QC had argued.

But five judges of the Court of Appeals unanimously dismissed and dismissed the appeal on Friday afternoon, saying the sentence — including a minimum term of 30 years — was a severe one anyway.

Their verdict highlights the importance of access to rehabilitation services in Victorian prisons, and points to the belief that Herrmann has a fair prospect of rehabilitation if he receives the right treatment, support and supervision.

The appeal judges said it was a slogan of modern governments that community safety is the first priority.

Victorian prosecutors appealed the maximum sentence of 36 years imposed on Codey Herrmann (left) for the atrocious rape and murder of Ms Maasarwe in January 2019.

Victorian prosecutors appealed the maximum sentence of 36 years imposed on Codey Herrmann (left) for the atrocious rape and murder of Ms Maasarwe in January 2019.

“If we accept that, protecting the community will require offenders like (Herrmann) to have access to the support services and specialized treatment on which their rehabilitation depends,” they said.

“He must, of course, remain ready to engage in treatment, but the responsibility lies with the state, which monitors his incarceration, to ensure that it is made available.”

Ms Maasarwe had come to Australia in August 2018 for a one-year exchange program with La Trobe University in Bundoora.

She was on her way home from a night out on a phone call to one of her siblings in Israel when Herrmann attacked her.

“I didn’t expect you to answer,” was all Mrs. Maasarwe could say before the phone fell to the floor.

Her last words to her attacker were “you piece of shit” in Arabic.

Herrmann knocked the 21-year-old unconscious with a metal pole, sexually assaulted her and set her on fire.

Ms Maasarwe had come to Australia in August 2018 for a one-year exchange program with La Trobe University in Bundoora

Ms Maasarwe had come to Australia in August 2018 for a one-year exchange program with La Trobe University in Bundoora

The appeal judges rejected Ms Judd’s argument that Judge Elizabeth Hollingworth’s verdict had placed too much weight on Herrmann’s traumatic and disadvantaged background and not enough on protecting the community.

Hermann was homeless at the time. He had a history of substance abuse and severe personality disorder.

A forensic psychiatrist said the trauma, abuse, neglect and deprivation the young Indigenous man had experienced was so extreme that the damage had been done by the time he was two.

In his argument against the appeal, Herrmann’s attorney Tim Marsh said the sentence was harsh.

Given Herrmann’s prospects for rehabilitation had not been extinguished, it was impossible to say whether he would always be a danger to the community, he said.

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