KEY POINTS

  • The 2019 attack was so severe that the victim’s internal organs were exposed
  • The victim’s brother was stabbed too but he survived the attack
  • The judge describes the brutal attack as "extraordinary and unforgivable"

A 20-year-old man was sentenced to 13 years in prison Friday for knifing a teenage boy to death over a baseball cap.

The incident happened in the southeastern Australian state of Victoria in September 2019. Joshua Horton was served the prison sentence by Victoria’s Supreme Court in connection with the killing of 17-year-old Maaka Hakiwai, abc.net.au reported.

The attack was carried out when Maaka and his brother Nathaniel were on their way to the gym. They were waiting at a bus stop in Kings Park in Melbourne's northwest, just 50 meters from their home, when a car containing Horton pulled up beside them. 

According to the report, two boys, Chol Kur and a teenager who cannot be named, then tried to steal Nathaniel's Philadelphia 76ers basketball cap, and a fight broke out. 

It was then that Horton, armed with a 10-centimeter blade that was hidden in his bag, left the vehicle and walked over to Maaka. He then placed one hand on his back and stabbed him in the stomach.

According to the report, Horton stabbed Maaka so savagely that his internal organs were exposed. Nathaniel was stabbed too but he survived the attack, said the outlet.

One of the boys then took the $30 hat and fled the scene, leaving the victims bleeding. 

Nathaniel, who was stabbed in the thigh, then called his father and alerted him about the incident. The victim’s father arrived at the scene and tried to rouse Maaka. But he died later at a hospital.

The devastated father said that nothing could bring back his son. "To be honest we just want to take Horton out of our brains and never think about him again," he said.

Horton was arrested a few days after the attack and has since been in custody. At the hearing, Judge Andrew Tinney described the brutal attack on Maaka as "extraordinary and unforgivable."

"From the time you carried out this action, Maaka was destined to quickly die," Tinney said in court, addressing Horton. "You carried out this shocking and entirely unwarranted attack upon Maaka in the presence of his brother, who watched in horror."

Tinney, according to The Australian, said in court that Horton posed a high risk of committing crimes further due to an untreated personality disorder.

knife-316655_640 (1) representational image. The victim had more than 20 stab wounds on her body and was found lying in a pool of blood. Photo: pixabay