Savage Vic killer has no more jail time

Prosecutors appealed Codey Herrmann's 36-year jail term for Aiia Maasarwe's rape and murder.
Prosecutors appealed Codey Herrmann's 36-year jail term for Aiia Maasarwe's rape and murder.

The man who savagely raped and killed international student Aiia Maasarwe in Melbourne won't have his jail term increased.

Victorian prosecutors appealed the 36-year maximum sentence handed to Codey Herrmann for Ms Maasarwe's horrific rape and murder in January 2019.

The Director of Public Prosecutions argued Herrmann should have received a life sentence for his crimes.

"This was a vicious, callous and intentional killing of an unsuspecting young woman who was the unfortunate and random victim of primitive male rage," Kerri Judd QC had argued.

But five Court of Appeal judges unanimously rejected and dismissed the appeal on Friday afternoon, saying on any view the sentence - including a 30-year minimum term - represented a severe punishment.

Their judgment highlights the importance of access to rehabilitative services within Victorian prisons, noting a belief Herrmann has fair prospects of rehabilitation if given appropriate treatment, support and supervision.

The appeal judges said it was a catch cry of modern governments that community safety is the first priority.

"Accepting that to be so, the protection of the community requires that offenders like (Herrmann) be given access to the support services and specialised treatment on which their rehabilitation depends," they said.

"He must, of course, remain ready to engage with treatment, but the responsibility rests on the state, which controls his incarceration, to ensure that is made available."

Ms Maasarwe had come to Australia in August 2018 on a one-year exchange program with La Trobe University in Bundoora.

She was on her way home from a night out, on a call to one of her siblings in Israel, when Herrmann attacked her.

"I didn't expect you to pick up," was all Ms Maasarwe managed to say before the phone fell to the ground.

Her last words to her attacker were: "you piece of s***" in Arabic.

Herrmann knocked the 21-year-old unconscious with a metal pole, sexually assaulted her and set fire to her.

The appeal judges rejected Ms Judd's argument that the sentence handed down by Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth had placed too much weight on Herrmann's traumatic and disadvantaged background, and not enough on community protection.

Herrmann was homeless at the time. He had a history of substance abuse and a severe personality disorder.

A forensic psychiatrist said the trauma, abuse, neglect and deprivation the young Indigenous man had experienced was so extreme the damage was done by the time he was two.

In arguing against the appeal, Herrmann's lawyer Tim Marsh said the sentence was a stern one.

Given Herrmann's prospects for rehabilitation weren't extinguished it was impossible to say if he would always be a danger to the community, he said.

Australian Associated Press