Sentences reduced after court appeal

Tauri Litchfield (28) died after he was chased and assaulted by four teens in Mandurah.
Tauri Litchfield (28) died after he was chased and assaulted by four teens in Mandurah.

TWO of the four teenagers convicted of killing Tauri Litchfield should have been found guilty of a lesser offence, a court has ruled.

The Court of Appeal ruled that the two teens, who were 14 and 15 at the time, should not have been found guilty of manslaughter.

Instead, they should have been convicted of assault causing death.

Originally, three of the teens were given sentences of four-and-a-half years, while the oldest of them was sentenced to five-and-a-half years.

The teenager sentenced to five-and-a-half years was one of the two who had their sentenced reduced.

The older teen had his sentence reduced to two years and eight months, while the younger teen had his sentence reduced to two years.

Mr Litchfield, who was 28 when he died, was chased by the four teens in March, 2013, which caused him to fall and receive fatal head injuries.

The group tried to pick-pocket Mr Litchfield as he was walking along Pinjarra Road after the 2013 Crab Fest.

After repeatedly telling the boys to leave him alone, one boy touched Mr Litchfield’s back pocket in an attempt to grab his phone. Mr Litchfield reacted by slapping him on the back of his head.

The older teen punched Mr Litchfield, an assault ensued and Mr Litchfield was knocked unconscious.

After regaining consciousness, he ran on to the road in front of oncoming traffic in a bid to get away or get help.

Mr Litchfield returned to the side of the road and was chased until he fell over the ledge at Taubman’s Paints on Pinjarra Road, hitting his head on the bitumen.

In 2013, Judge Denis Reynolds found the four boys fabricated the events of that night.

They said they had tried to stop Mr Litchfield falling over the ledge by grabbing his shirt and also tried to stop Mr Litchfield from being run over when he ran on to the road.

Mr Reynolds rejected the statements as untrue, calling them a “complete fabrication”.

The Court of Appeal judges said Mr Reynolds’ original findings that the teens intended or foresaw Mr Litchfield’s death and that Mr Litchfield’s death would “reasonably have been foreseen by ordinary sober young people as a possible outcome of their conduct” were irrelevant.

The judges gave the older teen a longer sentence as he was the instigator and committed “serious acts against Mr Litchfield” in the period before the commencement of the chase and because he was older.

Both teens were placed in custody in March, 2013.

The younger teen has completed his minimum term, while the older teen was granted bail in May this year.