17 March 2022

Kingston Hotel killer Kerry Kourpanidis fails in attempt to appeal sentence

| Albert McKnight
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Man who died at the Kingston Hotel

Warren Craig Hordpenko, 44, died after being attacked at the Kingston Hotel in July 2020. Photo: Supplied.

Kerry Kourpanidis, who killed Warren Craig Hordpenko at the Kingston Hotel, has failed in his attempt to appeal his manslaughter sentence.

Dalmeny man Mr Hordpenko, 44, had been drinking at the hotel on the evening of 5 July 2020, where he spoke to Kourpanidis’s young daughter and reportedly told her she was a “good girl” with “perfect eyes” and “perfect lips”. He also touched her on the face.

Kourpanidis went to his home in Griffith to put his daughter to bed, but he later returned, tackled Mr Hordpenko off a barstool and punched him in the head while saying: “You f–d with my daughter, c–t.”

Mr Hordpenko was pronounced dead at the hotel.

In 2021, the former tradesman was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years’ jail with a non-parole period of three years and nine months.

Earlier this year, the 37-year-old appealed his sentence, during which barrister Margaret Jones SC said a pathologist report found Mr Hordpenko died from a tear to an artery at the base of his brain, which was something that could happen from “innocuous” activity.

On Thursday (17 March), the ACT Court of Appeal’s Justice David Mossop announced the appeal had been dismissed.

Kourpanidis, present in the dock, didn’t visibly react to the news before he was led away by custody officers.

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The appeal was heard by Justice Mossop, Justice Wendy Abraham and Acting Justice Stephen Walmsley who, in sentencing remarks released later on Thursday, said Kourpanidis’s lawyers had argued the appeal had four grounds.

These were sentencing judge Justice Michael Elkaim made three errors, including taking into account the provocation of Kourpanidis, and the sentence was manifestly excessive.

However, the appeal judges said these grounds were not established and dismissed the appeal.

They said it was open to Justice Elkaim to conclude while provocation was relevant, it did not have the significance Kourpanidis contended.

“The appellant’s [Kourpanidis’s] actions were directed at redressing and punishing the victim for the perceived wrong done to his daughter,” they said.

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The appeal judges said the findings of Justice Elkaim were that this was a “reprisal by a sober person, who had time to reflect on the events before returning to the hotel”.

“Although the attack was short, it was brutal and included the targeting of the deceased’s head,” Justice Elkaim said.

Kourpanidis is eligible to be released from jail in April 2024.

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I recommend that Riotact readers regularly view the ACT Magistrates Court and Supreme Court judgements and decisions for sentencing outcomes for violent crimes and judge for themselves the fairness and outcomes of our local criminal justice system.

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