Melbourne screwdriver murder: Outrage over sentence handed down to man who killed Jason Langhans as he tried to break up fight at birthday party
- The boy who killed a teenager will only spend two more years in prison
- Jason Langhans died after being struck by a screwdriver
- The screwdriver penetrated eight centimeters into the teenager’s brain
A teenager could be freed in two years for arming himself with a screwdriver and killing a 17-year-old trying to break up a fight at a birthday party.
Jason Langhans was trying to stop two boys from fighting at a 16th birthday party when one of them turned on him.
He was hit in the head with a screwdriver and immediately collapsed to the ground as a fight broke out.
Jason Langhans (left) died after a teenager attacked him with a screwdriver at a party in Melbourne in March 2021
The 17-year-old died in hospital three weeks later.
Her attacker, who cannot be named, invaded the party in Toodadin, southeast of Melbourne, on the evening of March 2021.
While drinking and smoking weed at a house earlier, he had armed himself after a friend told him ‘there could be trouble’.
The boy, also 17, grabbed a screwdriver.
Later, he rammed that screwdriver almost eight centimeters into Jason’s brain.
“I hit a guy badly,” they heard after leaving the party.
Judge Elizabeth Hollingworth said Jason had no chance to defend himself when he was fatally punched by the teenager, as she sentenced him on Thursday.
“You were carrying a screwdriver to a party, which you were prepared to use as a weapon in case something went wrong,” she said.
“Jason was not behaving aggressively and had no weapon, you hit him without warning.”
Jason’s supporters screamed from the public gallery of the Supreme Court as they heard the killer, now 18, could be released from prison in two years.
“Please shut up, this is not a football stadium,” Judge Hollingworth said.
“This is a courtroom if you can’t behave appropriately leave now.”
The 17-year-old died in hospital three weeks after his attacker rammed a screwdriver nearly eight centimeters into his brain.
The teenager had a traumatic upbringing: he grew up amid bombing in Afghanistan, fled to Pakistan, Indonesia and then arrived in Australia by boat, the judge said.
There was no food or water on the boat and her siblings lost consciousness during the trip.
He felt like a prisoner in a cage as he then spent two months in a Christmas Island detention center and four months in Australian detention camps before moving to Geelong.
Judge Hollingworth considered the teenager’s trauma, his young age, early offers to plead guilty and his vulnerability if placed in an adult prison, when deciding his sentence.
She gave him a maximum sentence of six years and he must serve at least four years before being eligible for parole.
He has already spent just over two years in prison.
The judge asked the parole board to consider transferring him to the juvenile justice system until he turned 21.