Trevett killer jailed for 28 years

A CASINO man has been jailed for 28 years over the 2010 "execution" of Glen Innes greengrocer Adrian Trevett.

Matthew Aquilina, the final member of the criminal enterprise who plotted Mr Trevett's gruesome death, was sentenced in the Supreme Court yesterday.

For several miserable hours, Mr Trevett, 62, laid helpless on the floor of an old butter factory as he was beaten and taunted by Aquilina, his mother Karen Dawson and their Grafton friend David Comber.

Eventually, Aquilina took a rope, tied it in a noose, placed it around the victim's neck and pulled.

For 15 minutes he watched the victim "gurgling and gasping for breath" before he stood on his shoulder to get "maximum leverage". When it was over, the scene was cleaned and the body loaded by wheelbarrow onto the back of Dawson's car and dumped in bushland near Tenterfield.

Two days later, the trio returned to the site, rolled the body down a steep hill until it hit a tree and covered it in sticks and branches.

When the body was discovered in January 2011, a pathologist found while there was "heavy decomposition" there were still signs a noose had been wrapped around his neck.

The victim's genitalia was absent, but he could not conclude if it had been removed by a person or was a consequence of animal predators or heavy maggot infestation.

The court heard that in the lead up to the murder, Dawson and Mr Trevett were neighbours and drinking buddies. In mid-2010, Ms Dawson complained to her son that Mr Trevett had sexually assaulted her and raised concerns about his sexual behaviour towards children.

On October 29, she drove to Casino and picked up her son and Mr Comber, bought alcohol from Glen Innes and returned to Red Range, where she and Mr Trevett lived.

She then picked up Mr Trevett and took him to the old butter factory where her son and friend were waiting. A blow to the head with an iron bar triggered the drawn-out attack, which ended in his death.

Aquilina's barrister asked the court to consider the content of phone intercepts, where Aquilina could be heard saying he should "pay" for what he had done as signs of remorse.

Justice Geoffrey Bellew noted those conversations also contained admissions that he had "killed that old rotten dog" because the c*** deserved it" and that "every rapist should be dead".

He said he was not satisfied there had been any remorse expressed by the offender.

He also described the method Aquilina had used to kill his victim as a "horrifying way to die".

Aquilina was sentenced to 28 years jail with a non-parole period of 21 years. Dawson and Comber are serving up to 23 years for their roles in the murder.

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