Australian jailed for Facebook murder

2012-08-31 07:24
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Sydney - A man who befriended a teenage Australian girl on the social media site Facebook before luring her to a secluded spot and killing her was imprisoned for at least 21 years on Friday.

Christopher Dannevig, now 22, pleaded guilty to the May 2010 killing of 18-year-old Nona Belomesoff after grooming her online under a false identity.

"The offender pursued a strategy involving deception and lies in order to engage and meet with the deceased and lure her to the area in which the offence occurred," Justice Peter Hall said in sentencing.

Knowing she had a love of animals from her Facebook page, Dannevig pretended to work for a wildlife rescue group and led the teenager, who met him several times before her death, to believe he could help her find work.

Finally he enticed her to the Smith Creek Reserve in Sydney for what she believed to be an overnight training camp.

Her family alerted police when she failed to return the next day, and two days later Dannevig led police to her body, which was partially submerged in a remote creek.

Although an inquest was inconclusive, Hall said he was satisfied that Dannevig killed Belomesoff, probably by drowning.

"The offender's actions in bringing about the death of a completely vulnerable and defenceless young woman in this way involved brutality of a high order that makes this offence a most heinous crime," Hall said.

Dannevig was sentenced to 27 years in jail with a 21-year non-parole period.

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