Codey Herrmann’s apology letter said he would «try to make amends» for the rest of his life. (AAP: James Ross)
The man who has pleaded guilty to killing Arab-Israeli student Aiia Maasarwe has apologised to her family in a letter submitted to the court, saying he would never be able to forgive himself for her death.
- Codey Herrmann’s handwritten letter said he would pray for Ms Maasarwe’s family every day
- He has pleaded guilty to raping and murdering the 21-year-old student in Melbourne’s north
- Herrmann will be sentenced on October 29
Ms Maasarwe, 21, was raped and killed, and parts of her body burnt, just after midnight on January 16 after she had alighted a tram in Bundoora in Melbourne’s north.
Codey Herrmann, 22, has pleaded guilty to her murder and rape.
Today his lawyer, Tim Marsh, submitted a handwritten letter of apology from his client to Ms Maasarwe’s family to the Victorian Supreme Court.
Im sorry, your daughter didn’t deserve such a terrible and tragic thing to happen to her.
I don’t expect any forgiveness because I will never be able to forgive myself and I will be trying to make amends for the rest of my life.
There is no excuse.
I truly apologise, I will pray for you and your family everyday.
Don’t give in to hate like I Did. Love.
Aiia Maasarwe was a gifted student who was midway through a one-year exchange at La Trobe University. (Instagram: @aia0206)
The apology came at the end of a three-day plea hearing before Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth.
The court heard Herrmann was angry and full of hatred at the time he attacked Ms Maasarwe, hitting her with a lead pipe and dragging her into a park near a shopping centre.
Prosecutor Patrick Bourke told the court Herrmann should get a life sentence for his crimes.
We have «an offender who was angry, who has hatred, walking the streets … and acted upon that anger,» Mr Bourke told the court.
Herrmann’s lawyer, Tim Marsh, has spoken of the deprivation and disadvantage Herrmann experienced growing up.
He was taken from his parents at a young age and placed in foster care.
The court heard his mother was Aboriginal and his father was German.
Mr Marsh argued that deprivation led to a personality disorder which was an important factor in Herrmann’s offending.
But Mr Bourke said Herrmann’s personality disorder did not «fully explain» his actions.
Victim’s father sought to have hearing delayed
Forensic psychiatrist Andrew Carroll told the court yesterday Herrmann attacked Ms Maasarwe in an «eruption of suppressed rage» he harboured towards the world.
«This is the manifestation of male rage towards a female,» the psychiatrist said, adding the rape and murder were an example of «stereotypical, primitive male rage».
Herrmann admitted having intrusive violent and sexual thoughts and said he was not proud of them, hitting himself over the head when they came up.
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Herrmann was arrested within two days of Ms Maasarwe’s body being found, linked to the crime scene by clothing.
Ms Maasarwe’s distraught father Saeed yesterday tried to stymie reporting of the attack, adding that the wanted the case paused until he could come to Australia and attend court.
«Because these proceedings are about the murder of my daughter … I now need to be there,» Mr Maasarwe said in a message read to court by prosecutor Patrick Bourke.
But Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth denied the request, saying any delay meant Herrmann would not be sentenced until next year.
«[Mr Maasarwe] had a right to be here and he chose not to be,» she said.
Lawyers also flagged a request by Mr Maasarwe to suppress details of his daughter’s rape and murder, a day after the brutal particulars were made public.
Justice Hollingworth scoffed at the suggestion the court should order stories about the case be removed from the internet.
Hours later, Mr Maasarwe’s lawyers told the judge the victim’s father would not proceed with his bid to curtail reporting of the case.
Ms Maasarwe, who had moved to Australia last year for study, was on the phone to her sister in Israel when Herrmann attacked.
Saeed Maasarwe attended a Melbourne vigil in his daughter’s honour in January. (ABC News: Gemma Hall)
The young woman cursed and screamed «you piece of shit» in Arabic before her sister heard no more over the phone from her sibling.
Herrmann had used a significant amount of the drug ice the day before he killed Ms Maasarwe but there was no suggestion he was in a drug-induced psychosis at the time.
He claimed to feel «profound remorse» but when asked about how often he thought about his predicament, replied «oh perhaps every couple of days,» Profossor Carroll said.
After his arrest, Herrmann told police «I didn’t kill no one» but later pleaded guilty to rape and murder.
He is due to be sentenced on October 29.
ABC with AAP