By OLIVIA JENKINS
The man who raped and murdered 21-year-old Israeli international student Aiia Maasarwe near a Bundoora shopping centre in January has been sentenced to a maximum 36 years behind bars.
Codey Herrman, 21, must serve at least 30 years in jail before he will be eligible for parole.
Herrmann initially denied killing Ms Maasarwe, before eventually pleading guilty to raping and murdering her, before using a can of WD40 and a lighter to attempt to burn her body and crudely disposing of evidence.
In sentencing, Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth described the rape and murder as an “angry type of sexual homicide” that had similarities to Jaymes Todd’s rape and murder of budding comedian Eurydice Dixon in June last year.
Todd and Herrmann “both raped and murdered strangers in a public space”, Justice Hollingworth said.
The court heard a number of factors contributed to Mr Herrmann’s decision to attack Ms Maasarwe, including his cannabis and ice use that compounded a personality disorder.
Justice Hollingworth acknowledged Hermann "suffered from profound childhood deprivation and trauma".
He was abused by an alcoholic mother, abandoned by his father at age six, and failed to thrive in foster care before he fell into drug abuse and, eventually, homelessness.
Justice Hollingworth said although she took these factors into consideration when sentencing Herrmann, she said there was no evidence he was intoxicated or in a drug-induced psychosis when he attacked Ms Maasarwe.
“Women should be free to walk the streets alone, without fear of being violently attacked by strangers,” Justice Hollingworth told the court.
In making a distinction between Hermann and Todd's offending, Justice Hollingsworth said Hermann did not substantially premeditate Ms Maasarwe's murder and he showed promise of rehabilitation.
Justice Hollingsworth also gave weight to powerful victim impact statements submitted to the court by Ms Maasarwe's family.
"They are all suffering in different ways from her death," she said.
"At time, they feel that they are stuck in a nightmare.
"Ms Maasarwe's death has left an enormous hole in their lives.
"Not only did you destroy her future, but you also ended her family's dreams of sharing their lives and growing old together."
Outside court Ms Maasarwe’s father, Saeed, spoke through tears. He said said he wished Australian authorities had done more to protect its people.
“The Australian government, I hope they will care more about their people,” he said.
“We need to care for the society, for the people, for the ladies so they can go out and come back home,” Mr Maasarwe said.
“He (Herrmann) can go continue his life as normal, how can we protect (the) society?”
“It doesn’t matter where I look, the pain inside is very big.”
The court heard Ms Maasarwe was walking home from a night out at a comedy club when Herrmann attacked her about 100 metres from the Route 86 tram line on 16 January this year.
Ms Maasarwe was halfway through an international study tour and had been studying at La Trobe University when she was killed.