On May 31, WA Supreme Court judge Lindy Jenkins handed life sentences to Hayden Shane Wayne Joseph (25) and Damien Phillip Mathews (25) for the shooting death of Jeremia Iskander (21) in Wanneroo, on December 2, 2011. Joseph will spend a minimum 12-and-a-half years in jail, while Mathews will serve a minimum 14-and-a-half years.
Justice Jenkins accepted they regretted the incident, but did not believe they were truly remorseful as they refused to accept responsibility. She said both had abused methamphetamine in the past, but were thought to be caring and loving when not using the drug.
She referred to the victim impact statement made by Mr Iskander’s father, which spoke of the effect his death had on his mother, sister and two brothers.
‘Every day they recall the positive aspects of Mr Iskander’s character, and grieve his loss,’ she said.
‘The violent death of any persons spread suffering, pain and grief throughout their family and friends.
‘It is understandably much worse when the victim is a young person, who had their life before them.’
Over a four-week trial, the court heard Joseph had owed Mr Iskander, or one of his associates, a drug debt.
In an attempt to recover the debt, Mr Iskander had stolen two of Joseph’s cars.
It aggravated Joseph to the point where he and Mathews stashed a loaded gun in their vehicle, in case they saw Mr Iskander, while they were collecting drug debts in Wanneroo. During their trial, they denied they were carrying the gun, claiming Mr Iskander, a former friend, produced the firearm and was shot accidentally.
But Justice Jenkins found the pair had brandished the weapon after spotting the former Belridge Senior High School student in the driveway of a Lalina Way home about 9pm.
Joseph had been drinking on the day, but denied being drunk. Mathews had smoked marijuana.
She found Mathews had pointed the gun from the drivers’ side window of the car and shot Mr Iskander in the chest. Joseph had not pulled the trigger, but he had joint intention to harm.