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Friday, May 11, 2012

Prostitute gets 10 years for 'degrading' killing of Sydney teacher

5-11-2012 Australia:

A 24-year-old male prostitute who subjected a respected Sydney high school teacher to a "cruel and degrading death" by binding and gagging him and leaving him to die, has been sentenced to 10 years' jail.

A Supreme Court judge said Yutian Li had demonstrated a "complete lack of humanity toward a fellow human being" when he killed Ian Craigie in his inner city flat in September 2009.

Mr Craigie, 63, a retired barrister who taught Classical Greek at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, was reported missing on September 21 when he failed to turn up to school.

He was found dead in his Glebe flat three days later.

Li pleaded guilty to manslaughter, one count of armed robbery and eight counts of obtaining money by deception.

Justice Christine Adamson said the two men had sex on a regular basis at the Glebe flat after meeting at a Granville brothel.

Li admitted that one morning in late September, he bound Mr Craigie's hands, feet, mouth and thighs with packing tape, stole his bank card and car, left the unit and did not return.

"The manner of restraint was cruel and degrading," Justice Adamson said.

"The offender went to considerable effort to disable and silence the deceased. He was aware that there was a good chance no one would find the deceased before he died."

Li later claimed that he did not call triple-0 because his English wasn't good enough and that he believed that the 63-year-old would be able to free himself or call for help.

He proceeded to use the dead man's keycard to withdraw $1000 a day - the maximum allowed - for the next week, until he was apprehended.

"His failure to ring triple-0 shows his complete lack of humanity towards another human being who he had exploited and ultimately killed for his own gain," Justice Adamson said.

Mr Craigie's body was so decomposed that it was hard for the coroner to determine the exact cause of death, but it was believed to be a combination of asphyxiation and dehydration.

In accepting Li's manslaughter plea, the prosecution in the case accepted that he did not intend to kill Mr Craigie. However, Justice Adamson found that he "must have had some idea that the deceased would not survive".

She rejected Li's claim that, after initially paying the young man for sex, Mr Craigie then tried to blackmail him by threatening to send naked pictures to the media if Li did not continue the relationship.

Instead, she found that the 24-year-old had been motivated by greed.

"The speed with which the offender accessed the bank accounts of the deceased is inconsistent with fear and anxiety."

"It bespeaks the calculated implementation of a preconceived plan."

Justice Adamson sentenced Li to a maximum of 10 years in prison, with a minimum non-parole period of eight and a half years. With time served, he will be eligible for parole in March 2018.

Outside court, Mr Craigie's close friend Scott McCallum said he had expected a longer sentence given the gravity of the offence. ..Source.. by Paul Bibby

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