Violence has broken out between the families of slain student Laa Chol and her teenage killer, after the teen was sentenced to 20 years in jail for her murder.
Violence has broken out between the families of slain student Laa Chol and her teenage killer, after the teen was sentenced to 20 years in jail for her murder.

“The law is saying ‘Go kill’: Laa Chol murder anger

Two families have clashed inside court after a teenager who killed Laa Chol was jailed for 20 years.

The 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named because of his youth, stabbed the much-loved university student in the heart after gatecrashing her party at a Melbourne apartment.

After he was lead from the Supreme Court to start his jail term this morning, his mother collapsed and started wailing.

The mother of murder victim Laa Chol, Ojwanga Abalo, centre is comforted by friends and family leaving court in March this year. Picture: David Geraghty/The Australian. .
The mother of murder victim Laa Chol, Ojwanga Abalo, centre is comforted by friends and family leaving court in March this year. Picture: David Geraghty/The Australian. .

 

Laa Chol was a popular law student. Source: Instragram
Laa Chol was a popular law student. Source: Instragram

Tensions then rose between his family and Ms Chol's supporters, with an all-in brawl breaking out.

As punches were thrown amid screams, security and police swarmed the courtroom to split up the two groups.

A jury found the teen guilty of murdering Ms Chol.

Ms Chol, 19, was hosting a party with her friend, Dahlia Ali, at an AirBnB they had rented for a girl's weekend in the city when she was killed in the early hours of July 21 last year.

She had confronted the group of male gatecrashers after the A'Beckett St apartment on the 56th floor of the EQ Tower had become overcrowded and she noticed her phone was missing.

Ms Chol then became embroiled in a fight with one of the youths after trying to push him out of the apartment. It spilled into the hallway, where two of his mates - one who would go on to be her killer - jumped in, punching and kicking her.

Laa Chol playing for her team Skye United.
Laa Chol playing for her team Skye United.

 

Father of Laa Chol, Daniel Kumyrith (second left) and family members leave the Children's Court in Melbourne in March this year. 8, 2019. Picture: David Crosling/AAP.
Father of Laa Chol, Daniel Kumyrith (second left) and family members leave the Children's Court in Melbourne in March this year. 8, 2019. Picture: David Crosling/AAP.

As one of the males restrained Ms Chol, her killer stepped back, drew a knife from his pocket, and lunged it into her chest with such force it pierced her heart.

The courtroom remained silent as Justice Stephen Kaye today sentenced her killer to a 20-year term, setting a non-parole period of 15 years.

But the chaotic scenes erupted after Justice Kaye had left the bench.

Moments earlier, the experienced judge had told the teen killer that he had to hand down a punishment that would deter the teen, and others, from committing such acts of violence.

Outside court, Ms Chol's father Daniel Kunyrith criticised Australian laws, saying they support the perpetrator instead of the victim.

"I say the laws are weak," he said. "What the law is saying is, 'Go kill'.

"The law will support you. You are going to appear in jail, happy, healthy, you can do education. "That's why people keep killing others."

Asked how he felt about the teen's sentence, he said: "I can't say, I'm not happy or I'm happy. It doesn't matter, my daughter never comes back."

Mr Kunyrith asked "the hunter" of his daughter one question: "Why'd you kill?"

"She was my daughter, I love her," Mr Kunyrith said.

He said his daughter had her whole life ahead of her as she embarked on studying law at university.

rebekah.cavanagh@news.com.au


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