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Mother tells how violent death tore her family apart

PORTRAIT: A photo of Caine Hammond. Photo: contributed
PORTRAIT: A photo of Caine Hammond. Photo: contributed contributed

A 25-YEAR-OLD man has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Caine Hammond, 28, after a jury was unable to reach a verdict following the murder trial into his death.

The six male six female jury was dismissed shortly after 11am this morning when they failed to reach a unanimous decision on day eight of the trial.

Lucas John Scot Bell pleaded guilty to unlawfully killing Mr Hammond in the kitchen of Bell's parent's home at Euleilah on April 27, 2012 after an argument and scuffle between the pair escalated.

The court heard during an incident in the kitchen, the medical evidence indicated it was when Bell lifted Mr Hammond up and he fell onto the cement floor or when Bell punched Hammond while he lay on the floor that resulted in Mr Hammond sustaining a subdural hematoma.

Mr Hammond failed to regain consciousness and died two days later in hospital.

Mr Hammond's mother Sandra Prickett sat with three of her sons throughout the sentencing and was clearly upset by the six year sentence handed to Bell.

"You murdered my son," she yelled at Bell as she left the court room.

PORTRAIT: A photo of Sandra Pricket, Caine Hammond and his brother Sam. Photo: contributed
PORTRAIT: A photo of Sandra Pricket, Caine Hammond and his brother Sam. Photo: contributed contributed

Mrs Prickett spoke to the NewsMail as she left the Bundaberg Supreme Court and remembered a son who was kind, loving and always there for his family.

"He didn't deserve to die like that, on a dirty kitchen floor surrounded by strangers," she said.

"He wasn't perfect but he was the perfect son to me."

Mr Hammond had found out on the Monday prior to his death that he had been accepted to start a boiler maker apprenticeship.

"He was turning his life around," Mrs Prickett said.

Mrs Prickett said her son's death had devastated her family, she'd since struggled with depression, had lost her home and was unable to care for her wheelchair bound son Sam.

"I don't sleep more than three hours a night," she said.

"Caine used to help me look after Sammy.

"Sammy is living with strangers now because I can't look after him without Caine's help."

In sentencing Bell, Justice Duncan McMeekin said that in every sense it was a tragedy and that before the lead up and incident that ended Mr Hammond's life, the victim and the defendant had been friends until an explosion of anger and violence resulted in death.

"Any sentence will serve inadequate for a human life," he said.

"The family will feel their loss has not been vindicated."

Bell will be eligible for parole on September 17, 2015.

Topics:  bell bundaberg court



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