Cole Miller
Cole Miller

Killer’s sentence not long enough, court hears

COLE Miller's killer should have been sentenced to 12 years' jail, the crown prosecutor appealing the sentence handed to the 18-year-old's one-punch attacker has argued.  

In 2017, Renata Armstrong was sentenced to seven years' jail after pleading guilty to unlawful striking causing the death of Mr Miller on a night out in Fortitude Valley one year earlier.  

The case is one of five that have been heard in Queensland involving the charge, which carries a maximum penalty of life behind bars and requires attackers to serve 80 per cent of the sentence if convicted.

Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath's appeal over the sentence handed to the man who delivered the punch that killed teen Cole Miller has begun.

An appeal against the seven-year sentence handed to promising teenage sportsman Cole Miller's one-punch killer has begun in the Queensland Court of Appeal.

The 18-year-old was struck from behind in 2016 by Armstrong Renata, 23, while on a night out in the Fortitude Valley nightclub district.

In August 2016, Armstrong Renata entered a plea of guilty to one count of unlawful striking causing the death of Cole Miller.
In August 2016, Armstrong Renata entered a plea of guilty to one count of unlawful striking causing the death of Cole Miller.

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath wants the sentence increased, which, with time served in pre-sentence custody, will currently allow the New Zealander to apply for parole in less than four years.

"We lost our best one," Cole Miller's father Steven said of the 18 year-old killed last year.

Mr Miller addressed media outside Brisbane Supreme Court after his son's killer was jailed for unlawful striking causing death.

Renata, 23, was sentenced to seven years jail and will be eligible for parole in about August 2021.

Mr Miller Snr said after the sentence was handed down that his  his heart went out to all victims of violence.

Mr Miller said Australia as a society had a serious problem with violence which the country needed to address.

In sentencing, Justice Helen Bowskill told Armstrong Renata he will have to serve 80% of his sentence.

"One moment has stolen the life of a young man and destroyed the life of his family and close friends" she said.

"Your conduct on that night was cowardly, gratuitous and unprovoked," the judge told Renata.

Justice Bowskill said the fatal punch was a tragedy for Mr Miller and his family, and also a tragedy for Renata, whom she described as a young man who made a "terrible" decision.

Renata's guilty plea, remorse, and the fact he spend six months in maximum security custody counted as mitigating factors.

Cole Miller's mum Mary-Leigh says her "heart shattered into a million pieces" when her teenage son died in a one-punch attack.

"My life as I knew it came to an end," she said in a victim impact statement read at the sentence of her son's killer.

"I endure constant pressure from the world around me to move on.

"I cannot help but blame myself…. I could never have imagined this would become the new normal."

Mrs Miller said she had "continual and desperate yearning" to return to the way life was before Armstrong Renata delivered a fatal blow during a night out in Brisbane.

The Court of Appeal will deliver their decision at a later date.


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