BABY murderer Harley Hicks will put his case for appeal against sentence in Bendigo in February next year.
The Supreme Court of Victoria Court of Appeal will sit in Bendigo on February 10, during which time Hicks will apply to appeal the life sentence handed down to him for the murder of Bendigo baby Zayden Veal-Whitting.
Hicks was sentenced to life in prison with a non-parole period of 32 years for the brutal murder of the 10-month-old, whom he bludgeoned to death with a home-made baton whilst out committing a series of burglaries in the Long Gully area overnight on June 14/15, 2012.
In sentencing, Justice Stephen Kaye said what Hicks did was "totally and utterly evil'' and his offending put his case "in the worst category of offences of murder which come before the courts''.
Hicks is arguing his non-parole period is manifestly excessive because of his age, the risks to him in custody, his abusive upbringing, the killing was spontaneous and that the sentencing judge "erred by aggravating the sentence upon a finding of the absence of remorse''.
Hicks pleaded not guilty to the murder.
The grounds for which he is seeking appeal are:
Ground 1: The applicant's age; the risks to the applicant while in custody in the light of the nature of the offence; the applicant’s likely permanent status as a protection prisoner; the chaotic, abusive and traumatic background against which the applicant’s personality was wrought; the fact that that those chaotic and abusive forces that shaped the applicant’s character were entirely visited upon him by the adult world and not of his making;
Hicks is also arguing the fact that the killing took place without planning but was instead spontaneous and impulsive; the absence of features of vengeance and premeditation that attend the comparable of cases where children are victims of murder.
Ground 2: The learned sentencing Judge erred by aggravating the sentence upon a finding of the absence of remorse.
In sentencing, Justice Kaye said he watched Hicks during the trial and did not detect any sign of remorse, nor the slightest indication by him of any pity or sympathy for the baby whose life he had taken, or those whose lives had been shattered.
Zayden's family welcomed his life sentence and said they were not concerned by his efforts to appeal.
"We are not too worried about it,'' Zayden's stepmother Michelle Kneebone said. "He didn't show any remorse. As for his age, that shouldn't matter because think of Zayden's age when he died.''