On January 10, 2014, 17-year-old Adam Lomas, from Adelaide, was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to a minimum term of 18 months in prison.
However, in August 2016, the South Australian Court of Appeal rejected the defendant’s request for an early release and instead ordered Lomas to serve two years and nine months in custody.
In his sentencing statement, Justice Paul Fennell described Lomas as “a tough-love teenager” who had “a penchant for violence”.
“It was a vicious and violent attack on a young girl, which you will be sentenced to endure as you await your sentence,” Justice Fennells said.
Lomas pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder in February 2018.
On July 4, 2019, he was sentenced to two years in jail for the manslaughter offence and nine years for the attempted murder.
However the court heard that Lomas was on probation and had only just entered a guilty plea when he was convicted for murder.
“This conviction is not the result of any special consideration given to the circumstances of this case,” Justice Michael McBride told the court.
“It is, rather, the result, for all practical purposes, of a standard sentencing law which applies to all of the offences in this case.”
Mr Justice McBride said he would not have convicted Lomas if he had not heard about his arrest.
“The Court cannot accept that the defendant, in his remorse and with the best of intentions, sought to protect his girlfriend from being murdered, to protect her from the consequences of his actions, or to prevent the murder from occurring,” Justice McBeth said.
“What I accept is that the offender, who is not remorseful at all, acted in a calculated and cruel manner.”
Lomas’ sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court on January 17, 2020, but the Supreme Justice ruled that the court had failed to consider the circumstances surrounding Lomas arrest and sentencing.
Justice McWetnick said Lomas had been arrested after he had been found to be driving while his girlfriend was present and he had used a racial slur in a text message.
“I cannot accept this finding, which is based on no consideration of the nature of the offending and no evidence that any of the words spoken were intended to offend or cause offence,” Justice O’Neill said.
Justice O-Neill also rejected the defence’s submission that Loma had acted out of anger.
“To say that a person acted out in anger or in anger at being approached by a female who had a gun in her hand is to say that this is a characterisation of the defendant that does not pass the smell test,” he said.
In sentencing Lomas on January 10 and again on July 4 he said he was satisfied that Loms behaviour was motivated by anger and was likely to cause serious harm.
He said he had seen CCTV footage of Lomas being approached in a car in which the gun was visible, and he said it was reasonable to infer from that that Lomes intent was to hurt the woman.
He also said it could be argued that Louss behaviour was not a premeditated attack, as the gun did not appear to have been discharged.
“You have been sentenced to life imprisonment, in a state of maximum punishment,” Justice Maitland said.
However Justice McBrien did not accept the defence submission that the sentencing judge had erred in his reasoning.
He found that LOMAS was not remorsefully remorseful.
“Your conduct was deliberate and calculated, and was based on an emotional and emotional belief that you had no right to live,” Justice McMillan said.
The court also heard Lomas did not attend court and had no legal representation.
“He has a history of mental illness, and I do not accept that you can reasonably infer from his mental health that he is a dangerous person,” Justice Laitland told the defendant.
He ordered LOMas to spend at least 20 per cent of his sentence in a youth detention facility.
“If you wish to be released from prison, I would like you to apply for parole.
If you do not wish to apply, I will not grant you parole,” Justice McLellan said in his sentencing.
Loma is expected to appeal against the court’s decision.
Mr Justice MacLeod said Loma’s behaviour did not indicate he was dangerous.
“At the time of his arrest you were a young man, you were young and inexperienced, you had not been in a court of law, you did not have the necessary knowledge and skills to commit a serious offence,” Mr Justice McLarty said.
He imposed a non-parole period of 10 years.
Mr Lomas is appealing against the sentence and the decision to grant parole, saying his release would be an “abhorrent” punishment.