‘Crazy monster’ guilty of backpacker’s murder

A Melbourne man who acted like a “crazy monster” as he stomped repeatedly on the head of a Dublin backpacker has pleaded guilty to murder.

‘Crazy monster’ guilty of backpacker’s murder

Luke James Wentholt, aged 31, pleaded guilty in Victoria’s supreme court yesterday to the murder of housemate David Greene in their St Kilda East house last August.

He also pleaded guilty to recklessly causing serious injury to another housemate, David Byas.

Mark Rochford SC, prosecuting, said that the plea was put and accepted on the basis of reckless murder.

Mr Greene, a bricklayer, decided to travel to Australia in Jan 2011 for a better life because of the recession.

Outside court, Australian Irish Welfare Bureau president Marion O’Hagan said Mr Greene’s family was suffering.

“It’s been horrific. It’s been devastating.

“You can’t even imagine how much it has affected so many people. It just shouldn’t have happened.”

Wentholt’s committal hearing was told he stomped on Mr Greene’s head as he lay unconscious after a confrontation between the pair at a party.

Wentholt’s then girlfriend, Shayla Pullen, said she believed the confrontation began when Mr Greene accidentally saw her topless.

She said Mr Greene made jokes about seeing her naked as the pair drank with Wentholt and other friends at their home days later.

Ms Pullen said Wentholt told Mr Greene in a stern voice: “Me, you, outside. We need a chat.”

After hearing smashing sounds and yelling, she went to investigate and found Wentholt stomping his bare foot on Mr Greene’s head as he lay face down.

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