Teenagers jailed over death of man in Poplar Ave, Shepparton

By Liz Mellino

A teenager waved goodbye to his family and told them he loved them after being sentenced to four years’ jail yesterday following the death of a man in Shepparton last year.

His co-accused, a man, 18, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sentenced to four years in a youth justice centre.

Dyllon Michael Kilpatrick, 19, and the co-accused faced the Supreme Court yesterday, where they were delivered their fate by Justice Paul Coghlan.

The decision came after the pair were found guilty of the manslaughter of Sarwar Yaqubi, 43, by a jury on July 10.

Justice Coghlan described the sentencing as a "particularly challenging exercise" and one that involved a number of factors.

“Sentencing in this case presents a particular challenge to balance the interests of the community ... the interest of the victim and ultimately the interests of the accused, having particular reference to their relative youth,” he said.

Mr Yaqubi died on July 27 last year after he was run over by a vehicle on Poplar Ave following a scuffle between him, Kilpatrick, who was 18 at the time, and the other teenager, who was 16 at the time.

The teenagers were found guilty of manslaughter after the prosecution successfully argued the pair assaulted Mr Yaqubi and left him incapacitated in the middle of the road, leading to him being fatally struck by a passing vehicle.

After giving his verdict yesterday, Justice Coghlan addressed Jodi Cox, the driver of the vehicle that ran over Mr Yaqubi.

“We don’t know how you feel and we can't ... however, I can't emphasis enough to say please don't blame yourself — I say that on behalf of the community,” he said.

Kilpatrick and the other teenager had previously pleaded guilty to one charge of attempted robbery and three charges of theft, while the 18-year-old also faced one charge of possessing a drug of dependence.

When sentencing, Justice Coghlan said he acknowledged Kilpatrick's youth, deprived background and intellectual impairment.

He recognised Kilpatrick began abusing substances at the age of 12 and was using methamphetamine from the age of 15.

Justice Coghlan said he took into account Kilpatrick's full-scale IQ of 65, difficulty communicating, limited vocabulary and difficulty understanding conversations, which he acknowledged would make his time in custody "more onerous".

“At the time of the offending your life was somewhat aimless ... you were spending time stealing motorcars and driving around the neighborhood,” he said.

“This led to fatal consequences ... you did not expect consequences in any way as serious as they turned out.”

When addressing the co-accused's sentence, Justice Coghlan acknowledged his full-scale IQ of 69 and a clinical neuro psychologist assessment that placed him at the upper end of the mildly disabled range and functioning in the bottom two per cent of the population.

“There are several limitations in (the teenager's) functioning ... he has very limited abstract verbal skills and it is most unlikely he has any conceptual overview for the reasons of his behaviour,” he said.

Justice Coghlan said the teenager had started smoking cannabis at the age of 11 and at the age of 13 started drinking a substantial amount of alcohol, 12 cans per day, two days a week.

The court heard the 18-year-old had been prescribed medication due to being "significantly depressed" after his conviction by the jury.

Justice Coghlan acknowledged the teenager's circumstances, which he said "operated in (his) favour" and made it "undesirable" to send him to an adult prison.

“I regard this as not the most serious example of the crime of manslaughter but a man is dead and the consequences of his death are very serious,” he said.

Justice Coghlan said he was satisfied the pair both regretted the death of Mr Yaqubi and wished it had not been a consequence of their actions.

Kilpatrick, who has served 485 days in pre-sentence detention, will be eligible for parole in two years.

The other teenager, who has served 120 days of pre-sentence detention, is now in the hands of the youth parole board, who can choose to grant him parole from the youth justice centre whenever they feel suitable.


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