A man has been jailed for nine years over the “terrible” death of a woman in a Brisbane park — but could be released in weeks.
Bradley Scott Edwards, 38, had been due on Monday, November 6 to stand trial for the murder of Ioli Hadjilyra, 26, but instead pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Edwards faced the Supreme Court in Brisbane on Friday for sentencing.
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Hadjilyra’s battered and partially hidden body was found by council workers in a garden bed at Kalinga Park in Brisbane’s north on September 4, 2019.
Hadjilyra, a talented sketch artist originally from Cyprus, was discovered alongside some of her artwork.
Her father was present in the court for Friday’s sentencing.
A pathologist was unable to determine Hadjilyra’s precise cause of death but it likely involved smothering or neck compression with complications from drug toxicity.
Crown prosecutor Elizabeth Kelso said there was no evidence that Edwards provided assistance to Hadjilyra after she was injured and instead concealed her body and bag.
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Edwards, a tall man, sat in the dock as Kelso described the victim as “quite slight in size” at 167cm tall and weighing less than 50kg.
The court heard Edwards had a long history of non-violent offences after being sentenced for rape and torture as a juvenile offender.
Kelso said Hadjilyra had a long history of struggles with mental health and had issues with methamphetamine and cannabis use.
Edwards and Hadjilyra met in Brisbane’s CBD and travelled to the park via public transport with the aim of obtaining drugs but Edwards was seen leaving alone.
He was arrested two weeks later and accepted that he could be seen in CCTV footage with Hadjilyra.
The body of Ioli Hadjilyra, 26, was found in a park in Brisbane’s north. Credit: 7NEWS
While talking to an undercover officer, Edwards said he could not remember much as he had smoked 15 doses of methamphetamine and not slept for nine days.
Defence barrister Jacob Robson said Edwards was remorseful and had made an unprompted offer to write a letter of apology.
“He had made progress on remand over the past four years … he recognises how he left the body was particularly deplorable,” Robson said.
He said Edwards had a learning disability and had been treated for schizophrenia with auditory hallucinations while on remand.
Justice Sue Brown said prosecutors had accepted Edwards did not intend to cause Hadjilyra’s death and had an abusive childhood and mental health issues.
The woman’s body was found by council workers in a Brisbane park. Credit: AAP
“You still did a terrible thing in the acts that took her life,” Justice Brown said.
She said Hadjilyra had planned to visit her mother’s grave and Edwards’ unprovoked attack had only increased the family’s suffering.
“You left her alone like she was worthless. She wasn’t, she was someone’s daughter, sister, friend, she was loved,” the judge said.
Brown said Hadjilyra’s father had said not a day goes by without him thinking of her and how she died.
Edwards was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment with parole eligibility on December 9 this year due to four years and two months time served.
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