In July this year, Kieran Loveridge, who was jailed after killing Sydney teenager Thomas Kelly with a single punch to the head, as well as a string of other unprovoked assaults, had his sentence doubled.
The appeals court found his original sentence of five years and two months to be “manifestly inadequate,” and also said that such leniency did not act as a sufficient deterrent to further violence.
Loveridge is currently serving a sentence of 13 years and eight months, with a non-parole period of 10 years and two months, but The Sydney Morning Herald report that he plans to challenge this harsher sentence in the High Court.
On the evening of July 7 2012, Loveridge had reportedly been drinking heavily for several hours when he punched Kelly, who was walking by and talking on his phone, in an unprovoked attack. It was one of several other assaults he made that night in the Kings Cross area,
Kelly was taken to hospital with a skull fracture and brain injury, and died two days later. Loveridge later pleaded guilty to three charges of common assault, one of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and one of manslaughter.
Lawyer Philip Boulten SC has reportedly said that the appeals court were wrong to impose such a strict sentence on Loveridge, who he claims is “remorseful” and “unlikely to reoffend”, while having “good prospects of rehabilitation.”
Loveridge’s legal team will also ask the High Court to take into account the fact that he is an Aboriginal offender from a deprived background, whose parents split when he was young and whose father has served jail time and has “a history of drug and alcohol abuse.”
In addition to this, his lawyers argue that the great deal of publicity surrounding his case will deter Loveridge from further acts of violence, and that he was unfairly made an example of thanks to media attention surrounding one-punch assaults and alcohol-fueled violence.
In July of this year, Thomas Kelly’s younger brother Stuart spoke out for the first time, saying “I want Thomas’s short life to have some meaning in his death so we can see chance, a new fresh start, one where I believe we should have respect for each-other.”
Loveridge’s application for special leave to appeal will likely be heard late this year or early next. The Kelly family today told the Sun Herald that they are “gobsmacked” by this latest turn of events, but have declined to say anything further.