The family of a Queensland grandfather killed in an unprovoked one-punch assault are outraged after his teenage attacker was only sentenced to another four years’ jail.
Lindsay Ede was walking to his brother’s house in the Ipswich suburb of Goodna when he was struck in the head by teenager Ariik Mayot in June 2015.
Mayot, now 20, was the first person charged under Queensland’s so-called “one-punch” laws when the 56-year-old died in hospital three weeks after the attack.
The unlawful striking causing death offence was introduced in 2014 to crack down on the spate of fatal punches, with offenders facing maximum life imprisonment and having to serve 80 per cent of their sentence before they become eligible for parole.
But Mr Ede’s family and friends were left shocked and disappointed as Mayot was sentenced to four years jail, in addition to the two years he has already spent in custody, after pleading guilty in the Brisbane Supreme Court.
“It’s a very sad day, to be honest,” brother Terry Bishop said on Monday.
“I think my brother’s life is worth more than that.”
Mr Bishop said the outcome did not set a good precedent.
“At the end of the day it didn’t really matter how much he got sentenced because it was never going to be enough, but at least 15 would have been nice, even 10,” he said.
The court had heard Mayot was walking to the police station to hand himself in for breaching a bail condition when he thought he heard Mr Ede call him a “black bastard”.
He also believed the frail stranger had a knife, but it later turned out to be nothing more than a mobile phone cover.
Chief Justice Catherine Holmes said while Mayot acted in “fight or flight” manner, the fact remained Mr Ede never said or did anything that justified him as being a threat.
“It makes you a dangerous person unless you learn to control that impulse,” Justice Holmes said.
In a statement to Mr Ede’s family, Mayot apologised for his actions but said he did not expect to be forigven.
“No one deserves to lose their life like this,” Mayot said.
“Even if I get out I have to live with the fact I took someone’s life, he didn’t deserve to die.”
The court heard Mr Ede’s death had caused his family profound grief, especially to his partner of 17 years, Gloria Stephens, who had to move into a nursing home after she lost his care and support.
“There’s a hole in my life that can never now be filled,” she said in a statement.
“There was a kindness in him that ran from his very core.”
Mayot will be eligible for parole in 2020.