News

Murder accused gets six year jail sentence

Caine Hammond
Caine Hammond contributed

"YOU murdered my son."

Sandra Prickett made the emotional outburst in court on Wednesday as Lucas John Scot Bell was sentenced to six years in jail over death of Caine Hammond.

Bell, 25, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Hammond, 28, after a jury was unable to reach a verdict following the murder trial into his death.

He will be eligible for parole in just over 12 months.

The six male six female jury was dismissed shortly after 11am when they failed to reach a unanimous decision on day eight of the trial.

Bell pleaded guilty to unlawfully killing his best mate and sister's boyfriend in the kitchen of his parent's home at Euleilah on April 27, 2012 after an argument and scuffle between the pair escalated.

The court heard Mr Hammond suffered shocking head injuries during an incident in the kitchen, when he was lifted and thrown to the cement floor or when he was punched while lying on the ground.

Mr Hammond failed to regain consciousness and died two days later in hospital.

Mrs Prickett, who sat alongside three of her sons was clearly upset by the six-year sentence handed to Bell.

"You murdered my son," she yelled as Bell left the court room.

Mrs Prickett remembered her boy as kind, loving and always there for his family.

"He didn't deserve to die like that, on a dirty kitchen floor surrounded by strangers," she said.

"He wasn't perfect but he was the perfect son to me."

Mr Hammond was on the verge of starting a boiler maker apprenticeship.

"He was turning his life around," Ms Prickett said.

Ms Prickett said her son's death had devastated her family.

She she struggled with depression, had lost her home and was unable to care for her wheelchair bound son Sam.

"I don't sleep more than three hours a night," she said.

"Caine used to help me look after Sammy.

"Sammy is living with strangers now because I can't look after him without Caine's help."

In sentencing Bell, Justice Duncan McMeekin said that in every sense it was a tragedy and the victim and the defendant had been friends until an explosion of anger and violence resulted in death.

"Any sentence will serve inadequate for a human life," he said.

"The family will feel their loss has not been vindicated."

Bell will be eligible for parole on September 17, 2015.

Topics:  crime editors picks manslaughter



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