By their fruits ye shall know them: MURDER IN SYDNEY

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Posted by You are right on March 29, 2010 at 09:09:13

In Reply to: Re: This is going to end poorly posted by One man on March 28, 2010 at 07:24:00:

A man raised by a cult has been jailed for life for the murder of a Brisbane woman he stabbed to death during a sex shop robbery.

Tara Gilbert, 22, pleaded guilty in Brisbane Supreme Court this morning to the murder of "drag king" performer Kristin Dale Pye, 25, whose stage name was Lil' Romeo.

The court was told Ms Pye, who was working alone at the Everything Adult store at Browns Plains, south-west of Brisbane, died after she fought back during an August 2008 robbery.

Gilbert entered the shop just before closing time wearing a disguise and wielding a hunting-style knife.

He demanded cash and Ms Pye handed him $600 from the cash register but when Gilbert demanded her car keys and mobile phone, she resisted and overpowered him, taking the 25cm-blade knife.

But during a struggle, Gilbert pulled a second knife from under his clothes and stabbed her six times in the neck, chest, face and abdomen. She died in an ambulance on her way to Logan Hospital.

Family and friends of Ms Pye packed the court room today.

Outside court following the sentencing her family said they would never get over the loss of their "bubbly, fun-loving scallywag" who loved to entertain, helped troubled teens through her charity work and was an active member of the gay and lesbian community.

Her mother Fiona told media she was pleased Gilbert was jailed and vowed to fight to keep him in prison beyond his non-parole period of 15 years - a mandatory condition of a life sentence.

"I'll be there, sitting there and arguing [against his parole release] he won't come out, don't worry about that," she said.

Ms Pye's stepfather, Brett Proctor, said although Gilbert could be released, "Kristin can never be released from death".

"As far as I'm concerned he can stay there [in jail]," Fiona said.

The court was told Gilbert, born in Thailand and raised by a cult known as The Family and Children of God, killed Ms Pye during the first of his three planned armed robberies.

Crown prosecutor Dennis Kinsella said after he stabbed Ms Pye, he could be seen on store cameras leaning over her "in a menacing, dominant position" for six minutes as she bled from her wounds.

He used a knife to cut a neck lanyard to which her car keys were attached before fleeing the scene in her car.

Mr Kinsella said police - alerted by a duress alarm activated at the store - arrived to find a bleeding Ms Pye crawling from the shop.

In the last minutes of her life she told officers she had begged for her life but her attacker had told her she had to die because she had seen his face.

She lost consciousness at the scene and was pronounced dead a short time later.

Mr Kinsella said Gilbert confided in a woman he had met at a Brisbane brothel and she phoned police so he could hand himself in.

Describing the murder to detectives, Gilbert said he went into "fight mode" and his "killer instinct" kicked in when Ms Pye did not co-operate by handing over her keys.

"I guess the killer in me [was] coming out. Let's finish her off," he said.

He told detectives he had no value for his own life and had difficulty valuing the lives of others.

He said he was "baffled" as to why Ms Pye had not stabbed him, as she had been stronger than him and at one point had him pinned to the floor.

Gilbert admitted she had pleaded for her life. He was concerned about getting caught, he said.

Justice Ann Lyons declined to allow the footage of Ms Pye's final moments be played to the court.

Instead, she adjourned the court to watch the vision in her chambers, returning to the court and remarking it was "of a disturbing nature" and graphically showed the final moments of Ms Pye's life.

In sentencing Gilbert, Justice Lyons said he had "devastated and shattered" the lives of Ms Pye's family and friends. Ms Pye had been a "defenceless, easy target" who he had continued to threaten "as her life was slipping away".

In jailing him for life, she declared 19 months' he has served in pre-sentence custody, as time already served under his sentence.

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