'Horrible' kick to tradie after stabbing
Michael Smith wishes he could have one more chance to tell his son Cameron how proud he is of him.
Carrying his son out of the hospital after he was born was a wonderful and joyful day.
He never imagined that 26 years later he'd carry his son out of a funeral home in an urn.
The tradie, remembered for his cheeky sense of humour and zest for life, died last year after being set upon outside a train station while standing up for his girlfriend.
A 20-year-old man is set to stand trial for Mr Smith's murder, alleged to have stabbed him in an unprovoked attack on November 25 at Seaford in Melbourne's southeast.
On Monday in the Supreme Court, 19-year-old Liam Casley was chastised for kicking the skilled carpenter to the head as he lay on the ground.
Casley kicked Mr Smith, who moments earlier had been stabbed, to the head with such force that he lifted off the ground.
Justice Michael Croucher said kicking Mr Smith when he was already down was "the worst thing".
"It's a very low act as far as I'm concerned," he said.
"I don't know where people get the idea that it's OK - it's not OK to assault someone at any time of course, but there's a fair fight and there's a horrible thing to do, and that's clearly in the latter category."
Prosecutor Grant Hayward said it was even worse that Casley had kicked Mr Smith knowing he had been stabbed, but the judge said he wasn't certain Casley had known that at the time.
He said it took him a few times watching mobile phone footage of the incident to realise, adding he had the advantage of watching it repeatedly and unlike Casley he was "sober as a judge".
Casley's lawyer Sam Norton said while his client's words perhaps weren't eloquent, he had expressed remorse and has nightmares and visions of Mr Smith in his cell.
Mr Norton said Casley had participated in prison programs, learning to cook and taking part in work programs.
"He's engaged. Getting a kid like this engaged is half the battle," he said.
Michael Smith said the world is a poorer place for the loss of his wonderful young son.
The actions of Casley and 21-year-old Scarlett Taylor, who also pleaded guilty to an affray charge, are not the actions of human beings, he said.
Justice Croucher became emotional addressing Mr Smith's family.
"I'm sorry for your loss," he said.
"Words like that mean nothing coming from me, but that's all I can say. One father to another, one sibling to another."
A pre-sentence hearing for Taylor will be held at a later date.
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