Man found guilty of murder

A FORMER Warwick man who forced four Asian students to endure an hour-long sex attack in Sydney in 2008, which resulted in one of them plunging to her death from a unit balcony, will serve at least 21 years jail.

Brendan David Dennison, then 27, forced his way into the unit in the suburb of Waterloo in October 2008 where he carried out what courts later heard was a drug-fuelled “reign of terror”.

Originally from Boggabilla, Dennison previously lived in Warwick where he was convicted in June 2001 of stealing and unlawful use of a vehicle, offences committed earlier at Goondiwindi. He is believed to have drifted to Sydney in early 2008.

Dennison pleaded guilty to 19 charges arising from the attack, including the murder of one student, an 18-year-old Chinese woman who died after jumping from the third-floor unit with her 19-year-old Korean boyfriend to escape Dennison.

The boyfriend sustained serious spinal injuries.

He also pleaded guilty to 10 counts of raping the couple and two other women in the apartment at knifepoint and four counts of illegally detaining them, armed with a kitchen knife.

Dennison was high on ice at the time and told police he could not recall his acts.

In sentencing Dennison in the NSW Supreme Court yesterday Justice Elizabeth Fullerton found the murder to be in the “mid-range” of seriousness “given the reign of terror and the sexual violence inflicted upon (the victim who died) ... and the horror she must have experienced in the minutes before she died, knowing she was about to fall from a considerable height with the certainty of considerable injury or death”.

The court heard Dennison had gained entry to the unit by holding a knife to the throat of a woman who was visiting friends at the unit.

He demanded money from the group and forced them to strip naked before cutting off the women’s underwear.

He forced two of the group, a 19-year-old couple, to perform sexual acts on him and each other, the court heard.

Later, the male managed to escape to the kitchen and retrieve three knives to defend the group. Dennison dragged the man’s girlfriend into the lounge room at knife point while the two other women barricaded themselves in the bedroom.

Dennison threw a plate glass at the man’s head, hitting him above the left eye, while the man’s girlfriend broke free and threw a chair at Dennison before escaping on to the balcony.

She climbed over the balcony rail in an attempt to escape but fell as she tried to swing onto a balcony below.

In a “valiant effort” to prevent her from falling, her boyfriend had also climbed over the rail, the court heard.

But he was unable to save her and he too fell more than 12 metres to the ground.

His girlfriend suffered multiple skull fractures on impact and died in hospital.

Justice Fullerton said Dennison was criminally responsible for her death.

“His liability is of a consequence of his detention of her with the affliction of sexual violence ... her escape was a natural consequence of his conduct.”

The mother of the woman said in a statement her “angelic, clever and compassionate” daughter loved Australia and the freedoms it provided.

Justice Fullerton was not satisfied Dennison would not re-offend and sentenced him to a maximum of 28 years in jail with a non-parole period of 21 years.

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