A “callous” killer’s courtroom apology has been rejected by his victim’s family, who say a life prison sentence isn’t punishment enough.
Convicted murderer Warrick David Lindenberg, 29, expressed his “regret and deep sympathies” to the family of 19-year-old Shaune Gibson from a Brisbane Supreme Court dock shortly before he was sentenced to life imprisonment on Tuesday.
Standing in the same dock, accomplice Valerie Jeanette Chambers, 47, expressed no emotion when she was handed the same punishment for her role in Mr Gibson’s August 2012 murder.
Outside court Mr Gibson’s family labelled the apology a joke and said justice had finally been served for the 19-year-old, who was bound, beaten and strangled.
“They got what they deserved as far as I’m concerned,” Mr Gibson’s uncle Gordon Scott said.
“I still wish that they had the death sentence in Australia because they deserve it.”
The court heard Lindenberg, Chambers and a 16-year-old girl lured Mr Gibson to an Ipswich house where he was tied with fencing wire, assaulted with a pool cue and a machete, and strangled with wire.
His body was buried in a shallow grave by a deserted country road at Churchable, west of Brisbane.
The killers dug up Mr Gibson’s arm five days later to prove to the 16-year-old girl he was dead.
Lindenberg, who strangled the teen, said the attack was in retaliation for Mr Gibson’s threats to him and harassment of the 16-year-old.
However Justice David Boddice found little evidence of any behaviour to justify or explain Mr Gibson’s “horrible” death.
“It was despicable on the part of both of you, it was callous, and what you did thereafter was even more callous,” the judge said.
A teenage girl, now 19, is awaiting sentence after pleading guilty to manslaughter.
Lindenberg and Chambers won’t be eligible for parole until 2027.