By Casey Neill
Rani’s killer gets 29 years for callous knife attacks…
Christian Bain-Singh will spend at least 22 years in jail for murdering Doveton woman Rani Featherston and a “terrifying” attack on a neighbour.
On Friday 28 July, Supreme Court Justice Christopher Beale handed down a 24-year prison term for Ms Featherston’s stabbing death on 2 April 2014.
He sentenced Bain-Singh, 24, to another 13 years in jail for a knife attack on Daniel Maynard in his Doveton home 11 days earlier.
The “total effective sentence” was 29 years with a non-parole period of 22 years.
“Your terrifying crimes went unsolved for over two years,” Justice Beale said.
“Regrettably, no sentence that I can pass will undo the harm that you have done.
“Ms Featherston was a defenceless woman of only 34 years of age who you subjected to a horrifying death.
“You stabbed her repeatedly.
“When she tried to run off, you chased her and resumed your attack.
“You posted a callous message on Facebook whilst still at the crime scene.
“Ms Featherston’s family are overwhelmed by her awful death.
“Their relationships with each other and outsiders have suffered greatly.”
Bain-Singh, a qualified butcher, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, intentionally causing serious injury and murder over the two attacks.
“I am satisfied that you are remorseful,” Justice Beale said.
He also said Bain-Singh was 20 at the time and “a young man without the familial supports which many in our community enjoy”.
“Such supports, had they existed, may have helped you to cope better with the loss of your fiancee, your job and your fear of losing your rented home,” he said.
Justice Beale noted that Bain-Singh had a troubled upbringing and that since his crimes he’d reconnected with a church “and began to get your life back in order”.
He also described how Bain-Singh broke into Mr Maynard’s home “armed with a large knife” intending to steal from him, entered his bedroom and stabbed him when he started to stir.
“He was lucky to survive the attack. You could have easily fled as he began to stir from sleep,” Justice Beale said.
“Apart from the ongoing mental and emotional trauma he experiences from being so viciously attacked in his own bed, he’s lost much of the functionality in his hands.”
Justice Beale described Bain-Singh’s “chance encounter” with Ms Featherston in Lace Street, Doveton, 11 days later.
“There had been some unpleasantness between the two of you on 2 November 2013, when she was carrying on out the front of your home,” he said.
“You claim that she called you a ‘dog’ for having called the police on that earlier occasion and that she threatened to get you.”
Justice Beale said he was not satisfied that Ms Featherston had threatened Bain-Singh but even if she had “she was unarmed and you should have just walked away”.
“Instead, you took out a hunting knife and attacked her,” he said.
“On your own admission to police, you stabbed her first in the back, to the left shoulder blade.
“She tried to run away. You chased after her.
“When you caught up to her, you stabbed her repeatedly.
“After she went to the ground, you told police that you stabbed her once more to the throat, with force.”
Before leaving the crime scene Bain-Singh posted song lyrics “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight. It’s the size of the fight in the dog” to his Facebook page.
The court heard that a passer-by found Ms Featherston’s body later that day and an autopsy report revealed she’d suffered 21 stab wounds.
Hear the judge’s sentencing comments:
File courtesy Supreme Court of Victoria