Five men have been jailed for life for brutally killing Patrick Slater, who was stabbed through the heart with a screwdriver in a group attack in Perth after Australia Day celebrations last year.
Mr Slater, 26, was assaulted with weapons including a star picket and chunks of concrete near the Esplanade train station in the Perth CBD in the early hours of January 27, 2016.
He died from a stab wound to his chest which pierced his aorta.
Robert Pickett (centre), Dylan Anthony (second from right) and Clinton Mead (far right) have been sentenced for the murder of Patrick Slater
Robert Pickett (left) was alleged to be the leader of the group ‘in terms of aggression
Five men dubbed the ‘Patrick Slater slayers’ – Christopher James Birdsall, Dylan Terrance Wayne Anthony, Clinton Frederick Mead, his brother Stefan Lazba Mead and Robert Christopher James Pickett – were convicted of Mr Slater’s murder last month.
The men were found guilty after a six-week trial in Western Australia’s Supreme Court.
Two juveniles who cannot be named have also been convicted over Mr Slater’s death.
Mr Slater (pictured) died after his aorta was pierced during the brutal attack in Perth’s CBD
One who has since turned 18 was found guilty of murder and will spend at least 12 years in jail, while the other boy pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter on the third day of trial and was jailed for four years and six months.
A child who was allegedly part of the group, aged 11 at the time, is being dealt with separately in the Children’s Court.
Three children were among those charged over Mr Slater’s death, aged 11, 14 and 17 at the time of the alleged murder.
The court heard that Mr Slater’s death was the result of a violent night, during which the offenders encountered Mr Slater and his friends three times.
Mr Slater was holding a machete and his friend had a tomahawk, while the offenders armed themselves with rocks, bottles, a star picket, a timber pole and a screwdriver.
Prosecutor Carmel Barbagallo told the court that Robert Pickett, a father-of-one, likely dealt the blow that killed Mr Slater.
The 11-year-old boy (pictured), thought to be the youngest Australian ever charged with murder
Ms Babagallo said Pickett was ‘very much’ a leader of the group in terms of aggression.
However Justice Peter Martino said he was ‘unable to find who it was that fatally stabbed Mr Slater’.
The court heard the eight males had three increasingly violent fights with Mr Slater’s group, which included his two sisters, between 2.45am and 3.30am, starting with verbal exchanges between females from both groups.
Much of the fracas was caught on CCTV but the fatal 50-second attack, which happened after Mr Slater was chased upstairs onto the upper concourse of the train station, was not.
Birdsall’s defence attorney Henry Sklarz said a ‘group mentality prevailed’.
The screwdriver and other weapons were found dumped at the nearby Elizabeth Quay construction site.
Ms Barbagallo said the Slater family was ‘broken’ by their loss.
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