Australia man who stalked former coworker for months before killing her sentenced to 36 years in jail

Australia man who stalked former coworker for months before killing her sentenced to 36 years in jail

A 39-year-old Australian man who stalked a former coworker for months before killing her was sentenced by the Supreme Court to 36 years in prison on Friday.

The Australian man named Luay Sako stalked Celeste Manno for months before killing her on 16 November 2020. He stabbed her repeatedly with a kitchen knife after she posted a photograph of her with her boyfriend.

Sako had previously worked with the 23-year-old Manno at a call centre. He was fired from the job in 2019 and began stalking her for months.

Manno had begged Sako to stop stalking him and had even got a court-imposed intervention order. But that did not stop Sako from attacking her.

The mother of the victim from Melbourne said it was “unbelievable” that the court did not grant him a life sentence.

Aggie Di Mauro said outside the court on Friday: “It’s outrageous, absolutely unbelievable, that the court decided to grant him mercy even though he showed Celeste none.

“Quite clearly, his right to mercy was more important than her right to life.”

On the day Manno was killed, Sako went to her house at 3.38am, just hours after she posted a photo with her new boyfriend on social media.

“Celeste deserved life, but you decided otherwise,” Justice Jane Dixon told Sako.

“After attacking Celeste, you dropped the knife on the bedroom floor and left via a window.

“You carried out the attack with chilling efficiency.”

Sako was later arrested but he refused to accept responsibility for Manno’s death. Instead, he told police that his memory of the event was “fuzzy”, ABC News reported.

According to the report, at the time of the murder, Sako had an undiagnosed extreme personality disorder, depression and body dysmorphia as per the forensic psychiatrist, Rajan Darjee.

Justice Dixon said Sako’s judgement was impaired at the time of the killing but added that he was “capable of knowing the difference between right and wrong”. She imposed a 36-year sentence with a non-parole period of 30 years. Sako has already served about three years in pre-sentence custody.

She said that Sako’s offence warranted “a very stern sentence” but not life imprisonment.

“I have kept in mind the devastating impact of your offence on Celeste’s family and friends … but your psychiatric condition at the time of the offending reduces your moral culpability,” she said.

Ms Di Mauro told reporters she was “devastated” by the sentence.

“I don’t believe in parole. I don’t believe in releasing murderers to murder again,” she said.

“At this point, I can only pray that the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) and the Court of Appeal recognise that true justice in this case demands a life sentence,” Ms Di Mauro said.

“That little trust that I had left in this system has been completely destroyed by today’s outcome.”