The three men accused of murdering two homeless men in Melbourne’s west-end have been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.
Melbourne Magistrates Court heard the men, from the area around Bondi Beach, had a string of previous convictions for assaults and assaults with a dangerous weapon.
Their first convictions were for a previous assault in January 2017.
In his victim impact statement, James Cook said the incident was “utterly avoidable”.
“It is impossible to put into words what this means to me, to my family and to my friends,” he said.
“I have no idea what this will mean to my sister, to anyone in my family or to anyone else who is not directly affected by this.
James Cook, victim of Melbourne stabbing, speaks outside court in August 2017.
The judge in the case, Mr Justice Paul Kennedy, said he was satisfied the defendants acted in self-defence.
Justice Kennedy said he did not accept the defence submission that the two men were acting in self defence.
The jury of seven men and three women returned their verdict in August.
One of the men’s lawyer, Daniel Green, said the three men had been arrested on June 1, 2017, for a separate assault in the same area of Bondi.
His client, Christopher O’Brien, told the court his client had been injured by the second offender and the victim’s family had to “walk the plank”.”
They need help to rebuild their lives,” he told the trial.
He told the jury the men had no history of mental illness and no history in violence.”
It was a violent and unprovoked attack on a young man who had nothing to do with any of the other three,” Mr Green said.
Justice Kennedy also said the men were guilty of murder, assault occasioning bodily harm, assault causing serious injury and assault causing grievous bodily harm.
He said the first man, James, was also the main offender and it was his “right” to kill.”
The conduct of the two others was an assault of the very most serious nature,” Justice Kennedy said.”
They have done nothing wrong.
The offence is not about whether they were in a group or not.
It is about what they did.
“Justice Kennedy adjourned the case to a later date.