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Vic ice killer to spend 17 years in jail

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 11/10/2016 Angus Livingston

A homeless drug user who beat a stranger to death and dumped his body in a Melbourne creek will be deported after spending at least 17 years in jail.

Dion Laban couldn't remember the attack on Joel Desgranges and only admitted it when shown CCTV footage of the brutal murder.

The 32-year-old was walking behind Mr Desgranges, 59, through Sunshine on the morning of December 2 and they had a brief chat.

Laban, who was pulling a suitcase behind him, suddenly attacked the older man, punching, kicking and stomping on him.

He dragged Mr Desgranges' body to Kororoit Creek and continued to beat him with a branch.

Justice Elizabeth Hollingsworth said Laban was clearly affected by ice, but she was concerned about his history of using illicit drugs.

"I am somewhat guarded about your prospects for rehabilitation," Justice Hollingsworth said on Wednesday.

She said the likelihood of Laban reoffending is "inextricably linked to your drug use".

Laban's family are based in Australia but his visa was cancelled after the murder and he will be deported to New Zealand at the end of his sentence.

Mr Desgranges, originally from France, liked to walk in the mornings and usually met his friend at the train station before getting a coffee.

His friend was on holidays the day Mr Desgranges was murdered so they did not meet at the station that morning.

The friend has told the court he will forever feel guilty over what happened to his cheerful friend because Mr Desgranges might still be alive if he had not been on holiday and they had met that morning

Laban had been homeless and using ice for some time when he bumped into Mr Desgranges.

Justice Hollingsworth sentenced Laban to 21 years in jail, with a 17 year non-parole period.

She recommended he be given long term counselling to prepare himself for having to be sent back to New Zealand, away from his family, when his sentence is complete.

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