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Mentally ill killer who abused corpse wins appeal over sentence

A mentally impaired man who had his sentence increased to 18 years for killing an elderly woman, and sexually molesting her corpse, has won a rehearing of his appeal.
The High Court in Canberra ruled Maurizio Perini should be granted special leave to appeal the sentence increase and it be remitted to the Queensland Court of Appeal for fresh hearing.
However, the High Court did not publish its reasons which are expected later this week.
The then-Queensland Attorney General, Cameron Dick, appealed against the 13-year jail sentence imposed on Perini for the manslaughter of Carmel Wuth, 77, at a Gold Coast retirement village, on March 29, 2008.
In the Court of Appeal it was argued Perini's sentence was not adequate protection for the community and did not reflect the gravity of his crimes.
Ms Wuth died from asphyxia as a result of a combination of being severely bashed, strangled with a tie, a sock pushed into her mouth and being stabbed in the neck with a butter knife. Her body had also been sexually abused after her death.
In an unanimous judgment the Court of Appeal upheld the Attorney General's appeal and imposed an 18-year sentence.
The Chief Justice Paul de Jersey, sitting in the Court of Appeal, said 13 years' jail did not reflect the heinous crime and the need for community protection.
Perini, 38, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter, two counts of misconduct with a corpse, two counts of break and enter with intent to commit an indictable offence, and one count of burglary and stealing.
He had previously appeared before the Mental Health Court which found he had a defence to murder because of an abnormality of mind.


www.news.com.au (15-8-2011)
http://www.news.com.au/national/mentally-ill-killer-who-abused-corpse-wins-appeal-over-sentence/story-e6frfkp9-1226115046172




Man that killed and then raped elderly woman will spend 18 years in jail

A mentally ill man who killed an elderly woman and raped her corpse has had his sentence increased to 18 years behind bars.
Maurizio Perini, 38, was initially sentenced to 13 years' jail for the horrific attack on 76-year-old Carmel Wuth at her Southport unit, on the Gold Coast, in early 2008.
Perini's sentence was increased to 18 years earlier this year upon an appeal by Queensland's then attorney-general Cameron Dick.
But in August the High Court in Canberra sent the case back to the Court of Appeal for a fresh hearing after determining the original appeal had been run according to an incorrect principle of law.
The Court of Appeal revisited the case today after current Attorney-General Paul Lucas appealed the lesser sentence on the grounds it did not reflect the serious nature of Perini's offences, did not properly punish and denounce the offences, did not protect the community and gave too much weight to mitigation.
The Court of Appeal agreed with Mr Lucas today in a 2-1 majority vote.
Justice Margaret McMurdo rejected the appeal, saying a sentence of 12 to 16 years was adequate.
"This case highlights the profound difficulties faced by sentencing courts when offenders straddle both the criminal justice and mental health systems," she said.
However, justices Richard Chesterman and Hugh Fraser both agreed the appeal should be allowed and Perini's sentence increased.
"Not only were the respondent's acts intentional, they were premeditated and wantonly cruel," Justice Chesterman said.
"He did not kill his victim quickly and humanely.
"He strangled and suffocated the old woman and stabbed her repeatedly."


Herald Sun (23-12-2011)
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/more-jail-time-for-wantonly-cruel-killer/story-fn7x8me2-1226229687549

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Mentally-impaired man's jail term increased to 18 years for manslaughter of woman, 77

A mentally-impaired man who killed an elderly woman, then sexually interfered with her corpse, today had his sentence increased by five years to 18 years jail on appeal.
The then-Attorney General, Cameron Dick, appealed the 13-year jail sentence imposed on Maurizio Perini for the manslaughter of Carmel Wuth, 77, at a Gold Coast retirement village, on March 29, 2008. Mr Dick wanted the sentence increased to 18 years.
Maurizio Perini Mr Dick argued Perini's sentence was not adequate protection for the community and did not reflect the gravity of his crimes.
Ms Wuth died from asphyxia as a result of a combination of being severely bashed, strangled with a tie, a sock pushed into her mouth and being stabbed in the neck with a butter knife. Her body had also been sexually abused after her death.
In an unanimous judgment the Court of Appeal upheld the Attorney General's appeal and imposed an 18-year sentence.
The Chief Justice Paul de Jersey, sitting in the Court of Appeal, said 13 years' jail did not reflect the heinous crime and the need for community protection.
"Reducing a life sentence to 18 years jail sufficiently reflects Perini's co-operation in the administration of justice by pleading guilty," Justice de Jersey said, indicating life would have been imposed except for the guilty plea.
He said Perini should not be given a lighter sentence just because the Attorney General could later attempt to use the provisions of the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act 2003 to detain him indefinitely.
Read the appeal judgment
The court was told Perini was to be evicted from the complex the day after Ms Wurth's naked body was found in her room at the Trinity Gardens complex.
He was arrested almost immediately after Ms Wuth's body was discovered by other residents and soon after admitted he had killed the frail woman.
In a chilling taped interview with police shown to the court, Perini indicated the killing was out of anger and revenge for the problems he had faced living at the complex for the previous few months.
Perini, 38, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter, two counts of misconduct with a corpse, two counts of break and enter with intent to commit an indictable offence, and one count of burglary and stealing.
He had previously appeared before the Mental Health Court which found he had a defence to murder because of an abnormality of mind.
However, he was charged with manslaughter because while the MHC found Perini suffered from diminished responsibility, there was no diagnosis of mental illness.
In the Court of Appeal, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Tony Moynihan SC, for Mr Dick, said psychiatric reports showed Perini had a very real risk of reoffending if released into the community or even in an institution where Perini could be treated for his mental abnormality.
However, barrister Joe Briggs, for Perini, said it was important the horror of the offences did not overbear the fact of Perini's abnormality of mind.


The Courier Mail (1-3-2011)
Mark Oberhardt
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/mans-jail-term-increased-to-18-years-for-killing-woman-77/story-e6freoof-1226014024962

Woman's killer jailed five more years

A man who brutally killed an elderly woman in her bed then raped her body has had his sentence increased by five years.
Maurizio Perini, 38, is now due to serve 18 years behind bars for the horrific attack on 76-year-old Carmel Wuth at her Southport unit in early 2008. He originally was sentenced to 13 years, in August last year.
The Court of Appeal in Brisbane today increased his jail term to more adequately reflect the gravity of the crime.
In the written judgment, Justice Margaret White said the "cruelty and ferocity of of the attack" on Ms Wuth could have called for a life sentence, even though Perini was suffering from diminished responsibility due to an abnormality of mind.
Chief Justice Paul de Jersey agreed, saying the offence was in "the worst category of manslaughter".
"It was a case of savage brutality and depravity visited upon a vulnerable elderly woman, entirely without reason, in her own residential unit," he said.
Ms Wuth died in her retirement village unit after being repeatedly bashed and stabbed by Perini, who also lived at the complex.
Perini was furious that he had been handed an eviction notice after residents, including Ms Wuth, had complained about his antisocial Behaviour, which included putting knives in their rooms.
Perini entered Ms Wuth's room through an unlocked door and attacked her as she lay sleeping in her bed. He returned to the room hours after her death and raped her, later coming back a third time to ransack her belongings.
He was originally charged with Ms Wuth's murder, but this was reduced to manslaughter after the Mental Health Court in Brisbane ruled he was suffering from diminished responsibility due to an abnormality of mind.
He was jailed for 13 years after pleading guilty to one count each of manslaughter and burglary and stealing, two of misconduct with a corpse, and two of entering a dwelling with intent and circumstances of aggravation.
In arguing for the sentence to be increased, director of public prosecutions Tony Moynihan SC, who appeared for attorney-general Cameron Dick, said Perini's mental state meant he would pose a very real risk to the community when released, and that consequently he should remain in jail for longer.
Perini's barrister, Joe Briggs, argued there were a wide number of mechanisms available to authorities to minimise this risk once his client became eligible for release.
He said that under the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act, the attorney-general had the power to have Perini's case reviewed at the end of his sentence and to apply for a continuing detention order if necessary.
However, Chief Justice de Jersey said this power did not mean the Court of Appeal "should refrain from substituting the penalty which appropriately reflects the objectives of denunciation, punishment, deterrence and securing community protection".

www.dailytelegraph.com.au (1-3-2011)
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/breaking-news/womans-killer-jailed-five-more-years/story-e6freuyi-122601404227

13 years for killer Maurizio Perini who raped body

THE family of a frail woman brutally slain in her bed because her attacker wanted to escape being made homeless, will ask the Queensland Attorney General, Cameron Dick, to appeal her killer's 13 years jail sentence.
In the Supreme Court in Brisbane today, Justice James Douglas found that the evidence in the case did not support the Crown's claim that Maurizio Perini should be jailed for life for the manslaughter of Carmel Wuth two years ago, the Courier-Mail reports.
Justice Douglas sentenced Perini to 13 years jail which made him an automatic serious violent offender who must serve 80 per cent of the sentence.
However, outside court Ms Wuth's family said they felt let down by the decision and would urge Mr Dick to appeal.
Ms Wuth's niece, Robyn Wuth, said her aunt, was a gentle loving woman, and would have died a terrifying death.
"Carmel was disabled herself from birth. She had never married, never been kissed - for her to die that way would have been terrifying," she said.
Robin Wuth said Perini had killed her aunt for virtually no other reason than wanting to go to jail and to have a roof over his head.
"The question has to be asked who should have been watching him in the first place?" she added, referring to the fact Perini, who was 36 at the time, had been placed in an assisted hostel with fragile elderly people.
The two day sentence hearing was told Carmel Wuth, 77, died from asphyxia as a result of a combination of being severely bashed, strangled with a tie, a sock pushed into her mouth and being stabbed in the neck with a butter knife.
Her body had also been sexually abused after her death.
Perini, previously appeared before the Mental Health Court which found he had a defence to murder because of an abnormality of mind.
Asking for a life sentence, Mr Vasta said while the MHC found Perini suffered from diminished responsibility, there was no diagnosis of mental illness.
"In effect his moral compass does not point in the normal direction and it is quite unlike other cases of diminished responsibility," Mr Vasta said.
Perini, 38, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter, two counts of misconduct with a corpse, two counts of break and enter with intent to commit an indictable offence, and one count of burglary and stealing.
Mr Vasta told the court Perini was to be evicted from the complex the day after Ms Wurth's naked body was found in her room at the Trinity Gardens complex, at Southport, on March 29, 2008.
Mr Vasta said Perini had been arrested almost immediately after Ms Wuth's body was discovered by other residents and he had soon after admitted he had killed the frail woman.
"He told police it was in part because he knew he was going to be evicted and if he was in jail he would have a roof over his head, have three meals a day and be looked after," Mr Vasta said.
However, Mr Vasta added Perini had also indicated the killing was out of anger and revenge for the problems he had faced living at the complex for the previous few months.
Mr Vasta told the court Perini had lived for much of his life with his mother but she had returned to Italy in 2005.
He said while Perini had received psychiatric treatment at times he had never been properly diagnosed with a mental disorder.
Eventually, Perini lived as homeless man around the Gold Coast but although Perini was not formally diagnosed with schizophrenia a group dealing with the disorder got him accommodation at Trinity Gardens.
Mr Vasta said residents later told police that there were problems with Perini's behaviour at the hostel and there had been a "general air of dissatisfaction about him."
He said on one occasion police were called after several residents, including Ms Wuth, found butter knives in their rooms.
However, the police officer noted while Perini admitted being the culprit, he was not considered violent and social workers were looking to find him alternate accommodation.
Barrister Joe Briggs, for Perini, said his client should not be sentenced to life because of the unusual combination of mitigating factors and Perini was not a danger to the community if supervised and medicated properly.


The Courier Mail (20-8-2010)
Mark Oberhardt
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/years-for-killer-maurizio-perini-who-raped-body/story-e6freuzr-1225907845528








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