Australian pleads guilty to David Greene murder

Dubliner’s head was repeatedly stamped on during a party in Melbourne last August

An Australian man has pleaded guilty to murdering Dubliner David Greene, above. Photograph: Victoria Police/PA Wire

An Australian man has pleaded guilty to murdering Dubliner David Greene, above. Photograph: Victoria Police/PA Wire

Wed, May 1, 2013, 10:36

An Australian man has pleaded guilty to murdering Dubliner David Greene, whose head was repeatedly stamped on during a party at a Melbourne boarding house where they both lived.

Luke James Wentholt (31) appeared in the Victorian Supreme Court via video link from prison and pleaded guilty to the murder of Mr Greene (30) and one count of recklessly causing serious injury to another Dublin man, David Byas.

An earlier court hearing heard that a drunk Wentholt, who had trained in jujitsu, had been executing martial arts moves before repeatedly stamping on the heads of Mr Greene and Mr Byas at the boarding house in Lynedoch Avenue in the St Kilda suburb on August 26th last.

Mr Greene died in the Alfred hospital in Melbourne on September 7th.

Mr Byas suffered serious injuries and was in a coma at the time of Mr Greene’s death. He spent more than six weeks in hospital after the attack.

Mr Greene, a bricklayer, had moved to Australia in January 2011 and spent a year in Perth before moving to Melbourne.

He became manager of the boarding house where he lived, collecting rent from other tenants and ensuring the property was tidy.

Mr Byas (28), who is understood to have since returned to Ireland, met Mr Greene at the boarding house and they became friends.

In his statement to police, Mr Byas said Mr Greene was “an easygoing and funny character, he was a really good guy”.

Life support

Mr Greene’s parents and two brothers were at his bedside when his life support machine was turned off at 8pm on September 6th. He died at 3.05am the next morning.

“I always told Davey to walk away from trouble. Davey was more likely to cry if he was confronted,” his mother Catherine said in her police statement.

“People loved Davey, he was something special. After he passed away there were thousands of messages from friends on Facebook for him.”

Two of Mr Greene’s friends were in court for Wentholt’s appearance. They were accompanied by Marion O’Hagan of the Melbourne-based Australian Irish Welfare Bureau.

Ms O’Hagan told reporters outside the court that Mr Greene’s family continues to suffer over his loss - but that Wentholt’s guilty plea would bring them some peace of mind.

She said the murder had been horrific for Mr Greene’s many friends and his family. “These things are terrible. It just shouldn’t happen,” she said.

Wentholt has been remanded for a plea hearing on July 30th.