11 May 2024

'I've still got a lot of life left to live': Glenn Walewicz's murderer pleads for mercy over shooting

| Claire Fenwicke
smiling man in carpark

Glenn Walewicz was shot and killed in a case of mistaken identity. Photo: ACT Policing.

Whether a then-17-year-old boy was influenced to pull the trigger or did it of his own accord when he killed Glenn Walewicz has been a key point of contention in the ACT Supreme Court.

The now-20-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, faced a day-long pre-sentence hearing on Friday (10 May).

His defence barrister Keegan Lee said his client accepted the seriousness of the offending, particularly as Mr Walewicz was an “entirely unsuspecting and innocent victim”, but that the accused was a vulnerable and drug-affected person who had been taken advantage of to commit a co-accused’s “bidding”.

“[Nicole Williams] armed him with a loaded weapon and told him to take it for his protection,” Mr Lee said.

Mr Walewicz was killed on 10 June, 2021, when the accused, Gary Taylor and a younger boy went to his Phillip home.

They had been ordered at the “behest” of Nicole Williams to “run through” two drug dealers, but went to the wrong address.

Mr Lee submitted his client only pulled the trigger “because he panicked” and hadn’t gone to the home to kill or harm anyone.

“[My client later said] I f–ked up, I shouldn’t have shot him,” he said.

A pre-sentence report noted the accused would need a “high level of intervention” from corrective services if he were released into the community but that he had “the capacity to comply” with a community-based order.

The accused has been in Bimberi Youth Justice Centre since his arrest, but would need to move to the Alexander Maconochie Centre if sentenced to more jail time.

A forensic psychiatrist who had diagnosed the offender with both borderline and anti-social personality disorder expressed his concerns the accused would be “adversely” impacted if moved to the adult prison but admitted he was “guarded” about his rehabilitative prospects.

When Mr Lee asked the psychiatrist whether it would be better for the accused to have a shorter custodial sentence and whether the risk he posed to the community could be managed through a good behaviour order, the psychiatrist responded, “Yes”.

“[My client] has come to the realisation of the wrongness of what he has done,” Mr Lee submitted.

The accused also wrote to the court asking for mercy: “I’ve still got a lot of life left to live, a long way to go.”

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Prosecutor Trent Hickey took issue with the defence’s submissions, calling many of them “nonsense”.

He labelled the submission the accused “somehow panicked” as “offensive”, given the CCTV footage of the murder showed him hiding behind a wall, shooting Mr Walewicz, then pumping the rifle again when he stepped back behind the wall.

“How on earth do you go to someone’s house with a loaded firearm without the intention to hurt someone?” Mr Hickey asked.

He also pointed to comments made by the accused to the pre-sentence report’s author, including “I love doing crime … it makes me feel high of [sic] life” and “I felt this power and how I love it”.

“He’s a person of bad character, he gets enjoyment out of [offending],” Mr Hickey submitted.

“There just such a callousness about it.”

Mr Hickey also rebuffed the suggestion the accused had been groomed into committing the crime by Nicole Williams.

“Did she take advantage of him? Yes. Did she groom him? No,” he submitted.

Mr Hickey argued there had been a lack of remorse on behalf of the accused and that it was “plainly obvious” his prospects for rehabilitation weren’t good.

He said while rehabilitation was an important aspect of sentencing, so was protecting the community, recognising the harm to the victim and deterrence.

“Jail may not be perfect [for the accused’s mental health needs and treatment] but it’s what we have,” Mr Hickey submitted.

“It would be wrong to say general deterrence has no role … [rehabilitative prospects] should be less of a factor when the crime is so serious.

“He is the one who pulled the trigger.”

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The court also heard from Mr Walewicz’s mother and widow.

His mother’s victim impact statement, read by a friend, spoke of how she had a “massive hole in my life” and that a “part of me has died”.

His widow, from whom Mr Walewicz had been separated at the time of his murder, spoke of how they had planned to reconcile.

“I have a rage inside of me … as I think of whys and what ifs,” she said.

Justice David Mossop will hand down his sentence on Monday, 20 May.

Closed-circuit television footage of intruders outside Glenn Walewicz’s door. Photo: Screenshot.

Several people have already been sentenced over Mr Walewicz’s death.

Gary Taylor received more than 10 years’ jail for his role in the shooting, while the charges against the younger boy were dropped.

Getaway driver Reatile Ncube was the first of the group to be sentenced, but avoided being returned to jail.

Nicole Williams has admitted helping the gunman, with court documents revealing the full extent of her role in organising the crime. She’s due to be sentenced in September.

Her son, Jayden Douglas Williams, pleaded guilty to a charge of aiding and abetting an attempted aggravated burglary. He received a suspended sentence with time served.

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