Thursday, May 29, 2014

Victim’s mum outraged as youngest teen convicted of homicide to be released after a year

Victim Matthew Johnson with his mother Maria.
Victim Matthew Johnson with his mother Maria. Source: Supplied
ONE of the youngest teens convicted in Australia for a homicide offence is expected to be released today after 12 months in custody. 

The 14-year-old boy was originally charged with murder but faced the Supreme Court on a downgraded charge of defensive homicide after it was successfully argued he ­attacked his 37-year-old victim in defence of his father.

Matthew Troy Johnson, himself a father of three, was bludgeoned to death with a weapon that police were never able to conclusively identify — but has been ­described as either a machete or a metal pole.

The boy, who as a juvenile offender is identified only as MJ, was sentenced to three years in a youth justice centre, the maximum allowable.

But the Youth Parole Board has told his victim’s family to expect his release today.

Mr Johnson’s distraught mother, Maria, told the Herald Sun she was angry someone, despite his young age, could be ­incarcerated for just one year for killing someone.

“The justice system has a lot to answer for when 12 months for another person’s life is all that can happen to you. We have lost all faith that justice even exists anymore,” Mrs Johnson said.

“The loss of our son, brother, uncle and father to my three granddaughters has been one of the most stressful times in our lives.”

The crime occurred in ­Boronia in 2011 when an ­argument between Mr ­Johnson and the boy’s father resulted in a street fight.

MJ’s father called out for ­assistance and the teenager struck Mr Johnson, who was on the ground at the time, ­several times to the head with a weapon.

When he was sentenced in April last year, Justice Betty King said the maximum three-year sentence could in no way reflect the value of Mr Johnson’s life.

“To the family, nothing that this court says or does will ease your pain, that is understood. What I equally need you to understand is that the sentence I impose on MJ has nothing to do with the value or the importance of the life of Matthew Johnson,” Justice King said.

MJ, now 17, ­“unfortunately” had lived with the father, failed to attend about half of his school classes and was exposed to cannabis use by his father.

Justice King noted MJ had, after the offence, lived with his mother and re-engaged with school and rehabilitation ­programs. 28 May 2014

This is a classic example of how 'corrupt' the legal system of Australia is in that it lets out criminals into the community so that they can re-offend again, so that the business can be kept alive with new 'clients'.

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