The man who stabbed 18-year-old Kieran Priestland to death at Niagara Park two years ago has been sentenced to 20 years and six months jail at Newcastle Supreme Court this morning.
20 year old Andrew Perkins pleaded guilty to the murder on the first day of his trial on July, 11. His former girlfirend, Rachel Manevski, was found guilty of being an accessory after the fact, following a three week trial.
Mr Priestland was sitting in the drivers seat of his car outside a home Niagara Park in February 2014, when Andrew Perkins stabbed Mr Priestland six times in the chest.
At the sentence hearing on Wednesday, Mr Priestlands mother, Jenni Priestland, read an emotional victim impact statement to the court. In it, she discussed her son’s promising life, the devastation at hearing he had been murdered and the hole it had left in her family.
In handing down the sentence, Justice Richard Button found that although motivation for the offence was unclear, he accepted that intoxication by alcohol and a prohibited drug played a disinhibiting role. He also found that although there had been an unsettling disturbance earlier in the evening involving the deceased, his Honour did not accept that the Priestland provoked the offender, or threatened him in any way.
Justice Button recognised the fact that Perkins had no prior offences, and that, along with his youth, played important roles in the assessment of the appropriate sentence. Justice Button also accepted that Perkins is remorseful for what he has done, and that one can be guardedly optimistic about his prospects of rehabilitation.
Perkins was given a non-parole period of 15 years. Taken into account time already served, Perkins will be eligible for parole in 2029.
The sentence hearing for Rachel Manevski will continue in Sydney next month.