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HIV-infected killer to die in Vic jail

AAP logoAAP 18/12/2016 Kaitlyn Offer

An HIV-infected killer, who refuses to have treatment, is likely to die in prison before the end of his 15-year sentence for the "brutal and callous" murder of his lover in Melbourne.

The "vitriol" Simon Kepenci had shown to father-of-two Gordon Harvey, 62, was "something rarely scene in this court", Supreme Court Justice Paul Coghlan says.

The 39-year-old bashed Mr Harvey with a hammer sometime between January 17 and 19 this year.

He then covered the body in clothing and a doona and set fire to the Brunswick Street, Fitzroy Fetish T-shirt shop where the older man lived and worked.

Kepenci fled in Mr Harvey's car but was arrested on January 21.

The pair had met online and were in a "spasmodic" sexual relationship, said Justice Coghlan, who did not want to repeat remarks made by Kepenci to police in front of Mr Harvey's family.

A previous court hearing was told that Kepenci told police he didn't regret the attack, but that he "bloody enjoyed it".

Justice Coghlan accepted Kepenci no longer held those views and had shown remorse by pleading guilty, but said the murder was "pointless" and the fire was lit to cover up the crime.

"The killing was brutal and callous," Justice Coghlan said.

Kepenci has refused HIV treatment since at least 2014 and is likely to die within six to 12 months, health professionals wrote to the court.

He could die sooner if he contracts another illness.

"Your death will be painful and protracted," Justice Coghlan said.

Kepenci was diagnosed with HIV in 2001 and has a history of depression, the court heard.

He had a tumultuous relationship with his family, who refused to discuss his sexuality with him and would refer to his illness as cancer, Justice Coghlan said.

A 16-year-old Kepenci was assaulted by relatives when he was taken to his parents' native Turkey and refused to take part in an arranged marriage to his cousin.

Had he not been terminally ill, Kepenci would have received a longer sentence, Justice Coghlan said in handing down 15 years' jail with a 10-year non-parole period.

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