Kieren Pye wasn't rich or famous - but his family loved him.
Kieren Pye wasn't rich or famous - but his family loved him.

Nothing can take away suffering, judge tells killer

TUPU Sauaga pressed his hands against the glass of the dock when his family members came to see him in court.

That's more contact than the family of the man he killed - Kieren Pye - will have with their loved one.

It was a "brutal and savage attack” that ended Mr Pye's life, prosecutor Vicki Loury said as Sauaga was sentenced for manslaughter on Thursday.

Mr Pye, 23, was a son, brother, partner and father. He was killed on April 2, 2015 in Carole Park, Ipswich.

Justice Debra Mullins told Sauaga, 26, that nothing could reverse the tragic impact his "absolute stupidity” had on Mr Pye's loved ones.

Members of Mr Pye's family provided victim impact statements, all outlining intense suffering his death had caused.

"You deprived his parents of a son whom they loved and they are never, ever going to recover from the fact they lost their son in such violent circumstances.”

Justice Mullins said Sauaga and at least one other man - Paul Benecke - planned to rob Mr Pye's friend Peter Bell of drugs and cash.

An attempt to rob Mr Bell on April 1 in Logan was unsuccessful, she said.

Sauaga, Wayne Lemaga, Benecke and a woman went to Carole Park in the early hours of April 2, after a planned drug deal.

Mr Pye and his partner Renae Grove were in the car with Mr Bell.

Sauaga, 26, quickly pulled Mr Pye from the car.

The 23-year-old was stabbed multiple times, including in the back.

"When you, in a moment of extreme violence struck him with the machete you held, you killed him,” Justice Mullins added.

Brisbane Supreme Court heard Sauaga had a violent criminal history, including a conviction for robbery.

Samoan-born Sauaga would likely be deported to New Zealand, where he is a citizen.

The court heard Sauaga offered to plead guilty to manslaughter before the trial but that was not accepted so the trial went ahead.

Defence counsel Chris Wilson said there was an "important” four year-gap in Sauaga's offending before the Carole Park killing.

Sauaga was sentenced to 13 years jail. He had spent 964 days in pre-sentence custody.

"I hope that you reflect on how you have hurt so many people. You can never do anything to make it up to the Pye family,” Justice Mullins said.

On Wednesday, Wayne Lemaga was found not guilty of murder and not guilty of manslaughter.

He was free to go, and left the dock.

Benecke, 44, pleaded guilty to manslaughter on November 3.

He'd spent 748 days spent in pre-sentence custody so will be eligible for parole in October 2018.

At that sentencing, Mr Pye's father Michael addressed Benecke from the witness box, telling Justice Ann Lyons: "I want to face him.”

"I don't think that I'll ever understand or accept what happened on the night that Kieren lost his life, or reasons behind why it happened,” he said.

"All I do know is that Kieren was my son.” -NewsRegional



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