15 years for stabbing rampage

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    15 years for stabbing rampage
    November 8, 2004

    A SOMALI slaughterman who fatally stabbed a fellow worker during a rampage at a northern Victorian abattoir was today sentenced to 15 years jail.

    In the Supreme Court at Wangaratta, Justice Stephen Kaye imposed a minimum term of 12 years on Mohammed Mustaf Mohammed.

    After being acquitted on charges of murder and attempted murder, Mohammed, 26, was found guilty of the manslaughter of Peter Murphy, 47, and of intentionally causing serious injury to James Regan, 47, and Michael True, 45.

    Justice Kaye said the attacks at the Ovens River Abattoir on March 24 last year had exhibited an "unacceptable and savage level of violence".

    "I have formed the strong view that you have no remorse at all for your actions," Justice Kaye said.

    He said Mohammed had taken an innocent man's life from him, robbed a wife of a loving husband and children of a devoted father.

    Outside the court, Peter Murphy's wife Jan said his family had received a life sentence.

    "I think it is time our legal system had a long, hard look at itself," Mrs Murphy said.

    "I accept that he (Mohammed) has absolutely no remorse."

    Justice Kaye said Mohammed had been working at the abattoir as a Muslim slaughterman for about five weeks before the attacks began at 7am on March 24 last year.

    It was unclear what provoked Mohammed's attacks, but he claimed Mr Regan called him a terrorist and threatened him with a knife.

    Mr Regan told the trial Mohammed's attack on him was unprovoked and today said the claims were "a pack of lies".

    "This could not be further from the truth," he told reporters.

    Mr Regan was lucky to survive his serious injuries inflicted in part as he tried to escape after a knife wound to the back of his neck.

    After stabbing Mr Regan, Mohammed then fatally wounded Mr Murphy, who ran about 160 metres to gain refuge in an office.

    It was followed by a vicious attack on Mr True, who tried to escape Mohammed, but suffered life-threatening injuries and was flown by air ambulance to Melbourne.

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