Australian News

Lukasz Klosowski’s father Pawel pleads guilty to killing son and his girlfriend Chelsea Ireland

The devastated families of a young couple callously shot dead on a remote South Australian property have come face-to-face with their killer in court.

Lukasz Klosowski, 19, was shot and killed along with his girlfriend, Chelsea Ireland, also 19, on a property at Mount McIntyre, near Millicent, in the state’s southeast earlier this year.

Mr Klosowski’s father, Pawel, has pleaded guilty to both of their murders.

Family and friends of the couple packed the Supreme Court in Adelaide on Monday morning for his first court appearance in the city.

But Klosowski, who was wearing a suit and had a shaved head, stared straight ahead and did not make eye contact with those sitting in the public gallery.

The early timing of his guilty pleas means he is eligible for a sentencing discount of up to 40 per cent.

However, prosecutor Kos Lesses said the Director of Public Prosecutions would argue a lesser discount should apply.

Mr Lesses said a “hot off the press” decision handed down last week by the state’s Court of Criminal Appeal is likely to “loom large”.

In that case, the court extended the sentence of Hamzeh Bahrami, who sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl in a public toilet in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.

He had initially been allowed the full 40 per cent discount, but the Court of Criminal Appeal ruled a 30 per cent reduction was more appropriate.

Two years were added to Bahrami’s sentence, meaning he must now serve a five-year non-parole period.

In their reasons, the three justices said Bahrami was “grossly undeserving” of the maximum, and made clear that it was not an automatic entitlement for offenders.

Recent changes to state law have revised the maximum discount down to 25 per cent for serious offences, but Bahrami and Klosowski come under the old regime because of the dates their pleas were entered.

Mr Lesses also said the prosecution’s brief of evidence was still being finalised and was yet to be provided to the defence.

Justice Anne Bampton ordered a sentencing report that would examine Klosowski’s personal circumstances, including his family and employment history.

Nick Vadasz, for Klosowski, said his client would also be assessed by a neuropsychologist in the new year.

Justice Bampton remanded Klosowski, 46, in custody ahead of another appearance before the court in March.

The families of the victims made no comment as they left court, while Mr Vadasz told reporters the Bahrami judgment was “very relevant to the application of discount in this matter”.

Klosowski, also known as Paul, shot the young couple about 11.30pm on August 22 following a family gathering at the property.

The court has previously heard two of his stepchildren witnessed the incident.

Tributes flowed for both Mr Klosowski and Ms Ireland in the aftermath of the tragedy.

The couple had been dating for years and were both university students.

Ms Ireland studied mechanical engineering at the University of Adelaide, while Mr Klosowski studied journalism.

The Ireland family remembered their daughter and sister as having “great plans that would change the world”.

Ms Ireland’s father, Greg, said his daughter was a compassionate, strong, selfless and fearless young woman.

“The impacts she’s left is beyond anything we could have ever imagined,” he said.

“We haven’t just lost a daughter and sister, we lost a best friend.

“We’ve lost our baby girl … our hearts will forever remain broken.”

He said Lukasz became a member of their family, and the pair were “an amazing couple” who were “best buddies”.

“He brought smiles to our faces and laughter to our home,” Mr Ireland said.

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