A Perth man who attacked two homeless men for a “thrill”, killing one of them, has been sentenced to life imprisonment with a 26-year minimum.
Daniel James Cohen, 33, targeted the men as they lay sleeping in doorways.
The first victim, 48-year-old Ian Wilson, was hit over the head four times with a claw hammer as he slept on the stairs of a church in Beaufort Street, Perth in July.
Cohen disposed of the claw hammer but told a passer-by he had killed someone.
Police were called and Cohen was arrested and found to be in possession of two knives and two garrottes.
He was released and the next night attacked a second man with a hatchet, hitting him over the head three times as he lay in a doorway in Subiaco.
Cohen left the scene believing the man was dead, but he survived and went to hospital the next day, telling staff he believed he had fallen.
Cohen was then arrested for Mr Wilson’s murder, and told police what he had done to his second victim.
‘Senseless, callous, ruthless’: judge
The Supreme Court was told Cohen suffered from a range of mental health problems and also had a personality disorder.
Cohen told police he had got satisfaction from killing Mr Wilson and had attacked his second victim the next night to try to replicate the feelings.
He said he had attacked the men “to put them out of their misery”.
Justice Michael Corboy described the attacks as “senseless, callous and ruthless”.
He said Cohen targeted the victims who were vulnerable and defenceless and then described to police what he had done in a “matter-of-fact way”.
He said the crimes were aggravated by his “thrill-seeking motive”, and the need to protect the community was a significant factor in the sentence he had handed down.
Cohen had pleaded guilty to charges of murder, attempted murder, and possession of weapons.
He was given life with a 26-year minimum for Mr Wilson’s death and five years for the attack on his second victim.
The sentences are to be served at the same time and Cohen’s earliest release date will be 2042.