Australian court rejects triple murderer's appeal

Sydney, Sep 2 (IANS) An Australian court Monday upheld the conviction of a man who had murdered his former Indian origin girlfriend and two of her siblings.

The court of appeal in Brisbane in the Australian state of Queensland dismissed the appeal by Max Sica, 43, who was awarded 35 years in jail without any parole by a lower court in July last year for murdering his former girlfriend Neelma Singh, 24, and her siblings Kunal, 18, and Sidhi, 12, in 2003.

Judges John Muir, Robert Gotterson and Peter Applegarth upheld the earlier judgment of the lower court, according to local media.

The bodies of the three were found in the spa of their family home in Brisbane in April 2003.

Sica reportedly was not present in court during Monday's hearing.

Sica's lawyers argued that he got a manifestly excessive jail term, and therefore, the sentence should be reduced.

According to reports, the court was told that too much weight was given to the opinion of experts on foot impressions that Sica left at the murder scene.

"In light of the appellant's criminal history, his complete lack of remorse, his dubious prospects of rehabilitation, personal and general deterrence and protection of the community, the sentencing judge was entitled to specify a non-release period substantially in excess of the minimum," the Courier Mail cited the court ruling as stating.

The accused was told he was handed the toughest ever non-parole period in the history of Australia rightfully considering his criminal history and lack of remorse for committing the crime.

However, family members of Sica were not satisfied with the judgment and said they would move the country's high court.

"We lost the battle but not the war," Carlo Sica, father of the accused, was quoted as saying outside the court.


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