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‘Evil’ park murder: Jaymes Todd sentenced to life in prison for rape, murder of Eurydice Dixon

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Eurydice Dixon’s rapist and murderer Jaymes Todd sentenced

Austrilian Melbourne Park Murder Case:

The man who raped and murdered aspiring comedian Eurydice Dixon in an “evil” attack at a Melbourne park has been sentenced to life in prison and must serve at least 35 years before being eligible for parole.

Jaymes Todd stalked Ms Dixon, 22, for more than an hour before attacking her as she walked through Princes Park following a comedy gig on June 12 last year.

“Your actions in doing so were of pure and unmitigated evil,” Justice Stephen Kaye said in his sentencing remarks on Monday.

“The offending by you is totally and categorically evil … There is no evidence [the act] troubled your conscience at all.”

Speaking publicly for the first time outside court, Ms Dixon’s father said he was “very glad there is a killer off the streets” but was also compassionate and forgiving toward Todd and his family.

Eurydice Dixon’s father Jeremy speaks outside court on Monday.father

“What I’d wish for Jaymes Todd and what I believe Eurydice would wish is that he gets better and realises what he’s done,” Jeremy Dixon said.

“I extend my sincere sympathy to those who love him, it’s a terrible tragedy all round.”

Mr Dixon urged the community to remember his daughter for her kindness and not her death.

“Eurydice herself should be remembered, as her friends will remember her, for her wit and her courage and for her kindness, not for her death.”

During the almost two-hour long sentencing, Todd, who pleaded guilty to murder, rape, attempted rape and sexual assault, showed little emotion but closed his eyes as Justice Kaye read out the horrific details of his crime.

Ms Dixon was “totally vulnerable and defenceless” when she was raped and killed in the park, Justice Kaye said.

“You had the advantage of surprise,” he said.

“You knew what you were doing was wrong, well understanding the effects of choking a female victim.”

Todd first saw Ms Dixon outside Flinders Street Station about 11.08pm after she finished a comedy gig at the Highlander Bar.

He followed her for more than 4 kilometres to Carlton North, all the while maintaining a distance of between 15 and 20 seconds behind her.

After the murder, the then-19-year-old bought a pie and coffee, returned to the Carlton North crime scene and then went back to his home in Broadmeadows where he Googled rape and pornography as well as stories about his victim.

Ms Dixon’s body was found in the park by a passerby at 2.40am.

Todd handed himself in to police that evening soon after being contacted by friends who recognised him from CCTV footage released by police.

“You knew what you were doing was wrong, well understanding the effects of choking a female victim.”

Todd first saw Ms Dixon outside Flinders Street Station about 11.08pm after she finished a comedy gig at the Highlander Bar.

He followed her for more than 4 kilometres to Carlton North, all the while maintaining a distance of between 15 and 20 seconds behind her.

After the murder, the then-19-year-old bought a pie and coffee, returned to the Carlton North crime scene and then went back to his home in Broadmeadows where he Googled rape and pornography as well as stories about his victim.

Ms Dixon’s body was found in the park by a passerby at 2.40am.

Eurydice Dixon, whose body was found on a soccer field in Melbourne’s inner north.

Eurydice Dixon, whose body was found on a soccer field in Melbourne's inner north.

Todd handed himself in to police that evening soon after being contacted by friends who recognised him from CCTV footage released by police.

“After you trailed Eurydice Dixon for almost one hour, you waited until she was well into the dark reaches of Princes Park,” he said.

“Eurydice was then doing what she – and any other person in our society – is entitled to do, namely, walking peacefully in a public area of our city.

“The sheer terror which Eurydice must have experienced during those dreadful moments is unimaginable.

“You inflicted that brutal assault, and took her life from her, by raping and murdering her in a most craven and sadistic manner.”

Ms Dixon’s murder prompted outrage in Melbourne and in the days afterwards thousands of people attended a vigil in Princes Park to pay their respects to the young woman and call for an end to violence against women.

Justice Kaye said Todd’s prospects of rehabilitation were very limited and the likelihood that his sexual sadism disorder could be addressed were poor.

He said for the foreseeable future Todd would pose an unacceptable risk to the community, in particular women, if released.

As such, he said the sentence must be sufficient enough to uphold the sanctity of human life and to vindicate the right of all people, in particular women, to be safe in the state’s streets and open spaces.

“Your motivation for that crime was a reflection of the darkest form of human thinking. To intentionally murder someone, for the purpose of gaining sexual gratification, places your offending in one of the highest categories of the offence of murder,” Justice Kaye said.

“Only a sentence of life imprisonment can adequately express the true and full measure of the condemnation by the court, and thus by the community, of the appalling depravity that lay at the centre of your offending.”

Todd was diagnosed with sexual sadism disorder while in custody. Before the murder, Todd fantasised about violent, non-consensual sex culminating in a woman’s death.

Justice Kaye said Todd’s “dark and sick fantasy” and sexual sadism disorder drove the crime, not his mild autism spectrum disorder, but conceded the disorder was a small, mitigating factor in his ability to separate reality and fantasy.

His upbringing, including living in a home of “complete squalor” were also mitigating factors, Justice Kaye said.

Ms Dixon was living at home with her father and younger brother at the time of her death.

She was an aspiring comedian, Justice Kaye said, and she regularly performed on the Melbourne comedy circuit. During the 2018 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, she was a regular performer at the Highlander Club on Tuesday nights.

In her victim impact statement presented at an earlier Supreme Court hearing, Ms Dixon’s sister Polly Cotton, said she was in a “chasm of pain” since her sister’s death and more than anything wanted to see her.

“She lived an honourable life. She was gutsy and determined and clever and when I think of her I feel proud and inspired and in this way I am surviving,” Ms Cotton said.

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