The killer of aspiring Melbourne comedian Eurydice Dixon has lost a bid to reduce his time in prison, after Victoria’s Court of Appeal upheld his life sentence for the “loathsome” crimes.
- Jaymes Todd will continue to serve a life sentence for Ms Dixon’s rape and murder
- His lawyers had argued the sentence was disproportionate due to Todd’s age, early guilty plea and background
- The Court of Appeal today said Todd’s sexual sadism disorder was not currently treatable
Last year, Jaymes Todd, 20, was convicted for the June 2018 rape and murder of Ms Dixon, 22, in a park in Melbourne’s inner north.
He was given a non-parole period of 35 years.
Today, Chief Justice Anne Ferguson said the crime was “unspeakably loathsome and cruel” in reading a brief summary of the ruling by the three judges of the Court of Appeal.
In the hour before her death, Todd had followed Ms Dixon from the city where she had taken part in a comedy gig.
Todd was not in court for today’s decision, appearing instead by videolink.
The Court of Appeal judges rejected claims by Todd’s lawyers that the sentence was disproportionate, saying the sentencing judge had “carefully weighed all relevant mitigating factors”.
“A woman should be able to walk home after a night out without any fear of being harmed,” Justice Ferguson said.
“She should not have to be looking over her shoulder to see if anyone is following her.
“Her heart should not have to skip a beat when she hears approaching steps from behind.”
Todd’s lawyers argued life in jail ‘manifestly too long’
During the sentencing on September 2 last year, the court heard Todd had a sexual sadism disorder and had followed Ms Dixon for 4 kilometres from the city, planning his attack.
The court heard that he had a “coercive rape” fantasy in mind in the hour he stalked her from Flinders Street Station to the park where he killed her.
In his appeal hearing last week, his defence lawyer, Daniel Gurvich QC, acknowledged it was a “heinous” crime.
But Mr Gurvich argued the sentence was “manifestly too long” because of Todd’s young age, his early guilty plea, his expression of remorse, the fact that he has Asperger’s Syndrome, his disadvantaged background and the fact that he needs to be in protective custody.
Victoria’s chief crown prosecutor, Brendan Kissane QC, had countered that Todd’s sentence was adequate.
“The gravity of the offending cannot be understated,” Mr Kissane had argued.
The Court of Appeal today heard Todd’s sexual sadism disorder was currently not treatable.
Before sentencing last year, Justice Stephen Kaye had been urged to forego setting a non-parole period.
He acknowledged it was a “severe sentence” with a longer than usual non-parole period of 35 years.
“You intentionally killed Eurydice Dixon by choking her to death in order to gratify your perverted and depraved sexual desires,” he told Todd at the time.
“Eurydice was then doing what she — and any other person in our society — is entitled to do, namely walking peacefully in a public area of our city. She was vulnerable and in the circumstances, defenceless,” Justice Kaye said.
After last year’s sentence, Ms Dixon’s father Jeremy Dixon paid tribute to his daughter.
“Eurydice herself should be remembered, as her friends will remember her, for her wit and her courage and for her kindness, not for her death,” Mr Dixon said.
“I am very glad there’s a killer off the streets.
“What I’d wish for Jaymes Todd and what I believe Eurydice would wish, is that he gets better.”
Ms Dixon’s death had prompted an outpouring of grief and anger, with a large vigil held in Melbourne days later.
Read the Court of Appeal’s decision:
Document: Jaymes Todd v The Queen decision