News State Tasmania Taekwondo thug gets 22 years for leaving his battered mate to die in the snow

Taekwondo thug gets 22 years for leaving his battered mate to die in the snow

David Crow went on a Tasmanian camping trip with mate Russell John Nowoczynski and never came home. Photo: ABC
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After punching, kicking and shoving gravel down the throat of his friend, Russell John Nowoczynski drove away and left him to die in the snow on a lonely Tasmanian road.

The 49-year-old will spend up to 22 years behind bars for the “vicious” murder of father-of-three Donald William Crow, 39, at Interlaken in June, 2016.

“This was an intentional killing,” Justice Alan Blow said on Friday during sentencing in Hobart Supreme Court.

“(It was the) abandonment of a dying man in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night, in the middle of winter.”

The court heard the two friends, who were staying at a remote shack, had spent an afternoon drinking before getting into a fight when their car ran off the road.

Mr Crow suffered at least 12 blows to the head from Nowoczynski, who was trained in taekwondo.

Nowoczynski then shoved gravel in his friend’s mouth, took his jacket and drove away.

The temperature was about zero at the time, the court heard.

Mr Crow died on the roadside but may have been alive for as long as an hour after the bashing.

Nowoczynski told police during an interview that Mr Crow had initiated the violence but Justice Blow said he wasn’t satisfied that was the case.

“I don’t understand why they started to fight,” he said.

Nowoczynski, who Justice Blow said came from a respectable family, was found guilty in February of murder but sentencing was delayed for two psychiatric reports that ultimately found no evidence of mental illness.

A supporter of Mr Crow in the courtroom yelled out “you’re disgusting” as Nowoczynski was taken away by police.

Mr Crow’s death has had a terrible impact on all his family, Justice Blow said.

“They will miss him greatly for the rest of their lives.”

Nowoczynski, a former groundskeeper, will be eligible for parole after serving 13 years and six months behind bars.