A YOUNG chef who was jailed for a minimum 30 years for a "most chilling case of murder" has failed in his bid to reduce the sentence.
Daniel Kelsall, now 24, sought to have his jail term cut for the stabbing murder of Sydney businessman Morgan Huxley in September 2013. But three judges in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal today dismissed the appeal after finding the sentence wasn't "unreasonable or plainly unjust".
During the appeal hearing in August, Kelsall's barrister Braddon Hughes SC said the sentencing judge had not properly considered the prospects of rehabilitation. He also noted the sentence - that has a maximum term of 40 years three months - was excessive.
"The applicant submitted that his mental health issues, particularly in combination with his youth and capacity to receive treatment and participate in rehabilitation programs, warranted a more favourable finding as to his prospects of rehabilitation. Particular criticism was directed at the judge's finding that the applicant's crimes were not in any way the product of immaturity," the appeal judges said.
Crown prosecutor Sally Dowling SC said there was no evidence to show Kelsall had a major mental illness and the need to protect the community.
"This was, as the sentencing judge observed, a truly heinous, chilling and grotesque example of murder," she said.
In March 2015, a Supreme Court jury found Kelsall guilty of stabbing Mr Huxley 20 times and then indecently assaulting him in the bedroom of his apartment on Sydney's lower north shore.
The trial heard Mr Huxley was having a beer at The Oaks Hotel in Neutral Bay following a friend's engagement party in the early hours of September 8, 2013. Kelsall, had just finished washing the dishes after an 18th birthday party at the Sydney Cooking School when he spied Mr Huxley walking home.
CCTV the pub shows Mr Huxley walking up the street and then a figure wearing chef pants jogging up behind him.
Sentencing judge Robert Allan Hulme said it was clear Kelsall was a "disturbed" young man.
"This is a most chilling case of murder, whether the offender killed for the thrill of it or as a result of a fantasy or obsession, I'm unable to say," Justice Hulme said.
"It was utterly senseless and needless. It must have been the doing of a very disturbed individual," he said.
Huxley has been in a maximum security cell at Goulburn jail since he was convicted.
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