Luke James Wentholt jailed for murder of Irish backpacker David Greene in Melbourne

Tuesday 17 September 2013 22.06
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David Greene died one month after he was attacked in August 2012
David Greene died one month after he was attacked in August 2012
Court sketch of Luke James Wentholt, who is set to serve 15 years before being eligible for parole
Court sketch of Luke James Wentholt, who is set to serve 15 years before being eligible for parole
David Greene was attacked at a Melbourne boarding house in the St Kilda area of the city
David Greene was attacked at a Melbourne boarding house in the St Kilda area of the city

Australian man Luke James Wentholt, who was convicted of the murder of Irish backpacker David Greene in Melbourne last year, has been jailed for 18-and-a-half years.

Wentholt, 31, will have to serve 15 years before he is eligible for parole.

Honourable Justice Terry Forrest said Wentholt had a 13-year criminal history.

"You have led a violent adult life with little regard to the rule of law," he said.

Mr Greene, aged 30 and from Cabinteely in Dublin, died one month after he was attacked in August 2012 at a boarding house in the St Kilda area of the city.

His family were not present in court for the sentencing, but were given a login to the Supreme Court of Victoria website so they were able to watch and listen from Ireland.

Wentholt had also pleaded guilty to one count of recklessly causing serious injury to another Irish backpacker, David Byas, from Dún Laoghaire in Co Dublin.

Mr Byas's aunt was in the courtroom, as were some of the backpackers who were at the house when the attack happened.

Mr Greene's mother has said that she can never forgive the man who murdered her son.

Reacting to the sentence, Catherine Greene said that no length of time would matter to her because it would not bring her son back.

She said if his killer gets out in 15 years he can walk a free man, but that her son could never come back up the driveway or walk out of the grave.

Ms Greene said her son left for Australia because there was no work in Ireland.

However, she said she never thought he would be killed and said that he had done nothing wrong.

Mr Greene's father Aidan said he had blocked the killer out of his mind.

He said he cannot let the hatred he feels for him take over his life.

He described his son as a kind, generous man.

David Greene's parents have now printed up a wallet sized card with a list of the names and contact details for people who can help those heading to Australia. It is intended for people who need legal assistance or advice.

Listen to an extract from the sentencing