Robbie Coye
Robbie Coye

‘I was a trainwreck’: Dad’s shock at killer’s sentence

THE distraught father of slain peacemaker Robbie 'Switzerland' Coye is "in shock" over the single figure sentence handed to his killer.

The juvenile defendant was last week convicted of manslaughter committed at an Edmonton party in March last year.

Robbie Coye, nicknamed ‘Switzerland’, had a natural inclination to keep the peace.
Robbie Coye, nicknamed ‘Switzerland’, had a natural inclination to keep the peace.

Cairns Supreme Court heard the female child stabbed Mr Coye as he tried to calm down the agitated and drunk girl.

Kevin Coye did not attend the girl's sentencing but was told of her four-and-a-half year detention by detectives.

"I was a train wreck waiting to happen," Mr Coye said from his Ingham residence.

"I was in shock and stunned."

The defendant was sentenced under the principles of the Youth Justice Act 1992, which states "a child should be detained in custody ... only as a last resort and for the least time that is justified in the circumstances."

Paramedics did not arrive in time to treat Robbie, who suffered a mortal wound
Paramedics did not arrive in time to treat Robbie, who suffered a mortal wound

That principle offended Mr Coye to his core.

"Custody should be the first resort," he said.

"I have always believed in an eye for an eye. Five years or 10 years, it would not make a difference because she is going to come home and Robbie is not."

In sentencing the defendant, Justice Jim Henry anticipated Mr Coye's mourning family would consider the term too lenient. But Mr Coye still has questions.

"I would ask him 'would you give that sentence to someone who killed one of your children or your children's children?"

Robbie has a young Air Force Cadet.
Robbie has a young Air Force Cadet.

Robbie's tragic death fractured his family into grief-stricken splinters, too pained to reach out to each other.

"This has disintegrated my family. We haven't talked since it happened," Mr Coye said.

He would dearly like to speak to Robbie's friends.

"The people I feel most for are the kids that held him and watched him die," Mr Coye said.

Robbie was carried from the house to the street to wait for paramedics but died on the Farmer St driveway before the ambulance arrived.

"I didn't even see his body," Mr Coye said.

"His mother said, 'we aren't going to have an open casket - we can't look at our son dead.'

"This way we can remember only how vibrant and alive he was."


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