Wednesday 20 September 2017

I'll never forgive beautiful son's killer, mum tells court

Grieving parents Aidan and Catherine Greene leave the Supreme Court in Melbourne with Lisa Murphy, the best friend of David Greene, who was travelling with him in Australia when he was murdered last year
Grieving parents Aidan and Catherine Greene leave the Supreme Court in Melbourne with Lisa Murphy, the best friend of David Greene, who was travelling with him in Australia when he was murdered last year
David Greene

Norrie Ross

A MOTHER whose son was stomped to death by a vicious killer wept as she said she will never again see her son's "beautiful brown eyes".

Catherine Greene told a judge her son David promised to return to Ireland from Australia and surprise her, but she was "sick to the stomach" he would never come home.

Reading from a victim impact statement in a halting voice in an Australian court, Mrs Greene said she had changed from a happy mother with a close family to popping anti-depressants to fight anxiety and grief.

Mrs Greene gave her statement in the Supreme Court of Victoria where David's killer, Luke James Wentholt, faced a pre-sentence plea hearing.

Wentholt (31) previously pleaded guilty to the murder of Mr Greene (30) of Cabinteely in Dublin at a boarding house in Melbourne last August.

He also pleaded guilty to recklessly causing serious injury to David Byas (28), Mr Greene's Irish friend, during the frenzied attack.

SMILE

"We were all looking forward to Davie coming home, but now my life is in turmoil (at) never seeing his beautiful brown eyes and amazing smile looking at me ever again," she told Justice Terry Forrest.

Justice Forrest heard that the Greene family did not accept a handwritten apology written by Wentholt.

"He was my best friend, always called me Catherine, never mam," she added.

Prosecutor Mark Rochford revealed that Wentholt had been released from jail less than a year before he killed Mr Greene after serving time for beating a sex worker.

Mr Rochford said Mr Greene and Mr Byas were at a party in the boarding house with Wentholt.

Wentholt, a jujitsu expert, had been showing off martial arts moves to the partygoers and had been drinking vodka, whisky and beer as well as smoking cannabis. Wentholt mistakenly thought something was going on between his girlfriend Shayla Pullen and Mr Greene. He asked Mr Greene to step outside into a hallway and witnesses heard things smashing and raised voices.

Ms Pullen saw Mr Greene and Mr Byas lying unconscious and the killer stomping on their heads with his bare feet. She had previously described Wentholt as being like a "crazy monster" and told how the floor and walls were spattered with blood.

She tried to intervene, but Wentholt pushed her and said "If you want to f*** him you can f*** him".

Wentholt then assaulted other people in the house and smashed the place up.

Mr Rochford said Mr Greene died two weeks later never having shown any signs he might recover. Mr Byas was in a coma for four days and had to undergo months of treatment on extensive head and brain injuries. He has made a full physical recovery.

Mr Greene's father Aidan told the court that he thought that having a broken heart was only a myth but now he could not describe the pain.

"It's like a sick emptiness. I pray to you and my maker that the anger I feel sometimes doesn't consume my life," Mr Greene said. "I feel guilty because I loaned you the money to go to Australia."

Defence barrister Tony Trood told the court that Wentholt had pleaded guilty on the basis that it was a "reckless" murder and said his client should receive a lesser sentence because the killing was not intentional.

Justice Forrest indicated he will sentence Wentholt in late August or early September.

"I really hope justice will be done for him," Mrs Greene said outside the court.

"We are all broken-hearted. He's (Wentholt) ruined a lot of lives in Ireland and we hope he gets what he deserves. I'll never forgive him for what he's done. He's taken away my beautiful son."

Irish Independent

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