otorious underworld killer Carl Williams today lambasted from the dock the judge who jailed him for 35 years for what she called the "cowardly" murder of three rivals in Melbourne's bloody gangland war.
Justice Betty King handed down the sentence in a special sitting of the Supreme Court at Melbourne's County Court, with baby-faced killer Williams appearing to smirk when the 35-year minimum term was announced.
As the court adjourned, Williams said: "I have something to say."
Holding a clipboard, he told Justice King: "I expected nothing better of you. You are not a judge. You are only a puppet of the police. You are a puppet for Purana."
Justice King then asked for Williams to be removed, at which point he yelled: "Ah, get f***ed."
Williams' mother Barbara then repeated his claims to the court.
"You're not a judge, you don't deserve your wig and gown," Mrs Williams told Justice King said as she was leaving the courtroom.
Life behind bars
Today's sentence means the 36-year-old will be behind bars until he is 71.
Justice King said life imprisonment was the only appropriate penalty.
In February, Williams pleaded guilty to the murders of Mark Mallia (August 2003), Jason Moran (June 2003) and Lewis Moran (March 2004). He had previously been found guilty of the murder of Michael Marshall, who was shot dead outside his Toorak home in October 2003.
The murders occurred at the height of Melbourne's notorious gangland war that raged between 1998 and 2006, leaving 27 dead.
'Not a hero'
Justice King said there "are no other appropriate penalties for crimes of this nature, gangland executions carried out on the streets of Melbourne, in the presence of frightened men, women and children.''
She noted that Williams appeared to enjoy his notoriety, giving interviews and making statements outside court.
Justice King expressed concern that he would become a "hero" to some people in the community.
"You are not," she said. "You are a killer and a cowardly one who employed others to do the actual killing, whilst you hid behind carefully constructed alibis.''
"You should not be the subject of admiration by any member of our community."
She said he arranged for others to do the killing and alibis to protect himself, describing him as a "puppet master" who decided whether people lived or died.
"I find that you were the leader of the gang," Justice King told him, adding that he was "at the top of the chain of command".
Justice King acknowledged that many of Williams' victims were engaged in criminal activity, but said it was just as unacceptable to kill criminals as it was to kill any other person.
"You do not get to be judge, jury and executioner.
"These were not vigilante killings, they were matters of expediency to you.
"You acted as though it was your right ot have these people killed."
She said he was the "counsellor and procurer" of the three murders, a
"more heinous" role than that of the killer himself.
He bore "the highest level of criminality".
'No real remorse'
Justice King imposed a life sentence for each of three murders and a 25-year sentence for conspiracy to murder gangland rival Mario Condello.
She said his crimes would normally require a sentence of life imprisonment with no minimum term, but he deserved a discount on his sentence because his guilty plea had saved up to 10 years of the court's time and countless amounts of money.
A sentence discount was appropriate to encourage such pleas.
Williams had demonstrated "no real remorse", she said.
"You have uttered words of remorse in response to questions asked of you by your counsel but I find that you have no real or genuine remorse for the victims of your crimes, only remorse that you have been caught and lost your liberty.''
She described him as a "most unsatisfactory witness, virtually incapable of telling the truth."
Justice King said his testimony was designed to provide no evidence against people who were not already dead or convicted.
The manner of his giving evidence was "arrogant" and "almost supercilious".
"You left me with a strong impression that your view of all these murders was that they were all really justifiable and you were the real victim, having been 'forced' to admit at least some of your involvement, by the statements of other members of your group who had co-operated with police.''
'Extraordinary' killing spree
Sentencing took close to 90 minutes, in which Justice King went through the offences one-by-one and summarised each crime.
She said the killings "engendered fear" in the community and created the perception that Victoria had been plunged into a state of lawlessness.
Justice King said the three murders took place during an "extraordinary" period in Melbourne's crime history.
She said it was a time when an almost unprecedented level of very public murders of known and suspected criminals occurred.
Justice King said she would like to publicly acknowledge those involved in the case for coming to a sensible resolution.
Williams had earlier pleaded guilty to murdering gangland figure Lewis Moran, his son Jason Moran and another underworld figure Mark Mallia.
He is already serving 21 years for the murder of Michael Marshall, who was gunned down outside his South Yarra home in front of his five-year-old son on October 23, 2003.
His admissions were a major breakthrough in Victoria Police's Purana Taskforce probe into eight years of blood-letting.
Lewis Moran, 58, was shot dead in the inner-city Brunswick Club on March 31, 2004.
His son Jason, 36, was shot dead as he sat in a car watching a children's football clinic in Essendon in June 2003.
Mallia's charred corpse was found in a drain in Sunshine, in Melbourne's west, in August 2003.
Under Williams' plea deal, outstanding charges against him over the murders of Jason Moran's stepbrother Mark Moran and Jason's bodyguard Pasquale Barbaro will not proceed.
In the pre-sentence hearing last week, Williams' barrister David Ross QC told the court there should be a minimum term fixed for his client.
Mr Ross asked the court to take into consideration Williams' guilty plea and that it had saved the courts and community millions of dollars in the cost of trials.
"We say there should be a minimum term fixed,'' Mr Ross said.
"That is, he should not leave prison in a box, that he should be able to walk out at some stage.''
Even though he's a murderous crim, I can't help but feel a little bit of admiration for him. He was a pretty funny character and who could say no to that cherubic face. :cheers:
I wish Sydney had criminals like the Melbourne crowd instead of faceless carjacking/ram-raiding thugs.