• Father bled to death in just three minutes, court hears as teen killer jailed

    Updated December 18, 2018 16:31:10

    A teenager has been sentenced to 18 years' jail for murdering a father-of-four in a botched carjacking in Melbourne's north last year.

    Key points:

    The 17-year-old, who cannot be identified, stabbed Paul Costa in the neck as he and four other youths struggled to remove the 43-year-old from his car on a street in Brunswick West on July 2, 2017.

    The group wanted to use it as a getaway car in a planned armed robbery at a nearby supermarket.

    But their plan to put Mr Costa to sleep with a chokehold did not work and, during a struggle, the youngest member of the group pulled out a knife and stabbed him in the neck.

    The sentencing judge said Mr Costa was dead within three minutes of the young men approaching the car.

    "Mr Costa could not have been a more innocent victim and this could not have been a more pointless killing," he told the Victorian Supreme Court.

    Victim was about to go on a date

    The then-16-year-old had met Taisi Bartley, 20, Damian Siilata, 19, and two brothers who cannot be identified, aged 17 and 19, at Melbourne Central railway station earlier that night. There, they came up with a plan commit an armed robbery to steal money and cigarettes.

    They took a tram to Brunswick West and scoped out an IGA supermarket before coming across Mr Costa sitting in his car.

    He was dressed in a suit and waiting to pick up a friend before going on a date.

    After Mr Costa was stabbed, his blood covered the back seat of the car, the court heard.

    The young men dragged his body out of the vehicle, slamming his head into the ground, before dumping it under a tree in Dunstan Reserve, adjacent to where the car was parked.

    The group then got back into Mr Costa's car and dumped it in nearby Coburg when they realised it would run out of petrol.

    'You could not wish for a better son'

    Outside court, Mr Costa's father, Alessandro Costa, said he could not understand why such a young person would murder his son for a car.

    "Just for the sake of a car, killing a person, I think is ridiculous, outrageous," he said.

    "I've got no words to explain why they would do that."

    Mr Costa worked with his son selling Christmas trees and described him as his right-hand man and a "gentleman with customers".

    "You could not wish for a better son," he said.

    Mr Costa has four sons, aged 10 and younger, who are now being cared for by their aunt.

    Their father's killer will be eligible for parole in 14 years.

    Justice Coghlan said the 17-year-old's prospects of rehabilitation were guarded.

    He has been charged over two assaults since being detained in a youth justice centre.

    The four other young men involved have already been sentenced for the lesser offence of aggravated carjacking.

    Topics: courts-and-trials, law-crime-and-justice, murder-and-manslaughter, crime, brunswick-west-3055, melbourne-3000, vic

    First posted December 18, 2018 14:24:09

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