KEY POINTS

  • Mengmei Leng was found dead on April 24, 2016
  • Derek Barrett was originally sentenced to 46 years in prison in 2017
  • A flash drive containing evidence that Barrett had rape Leng was found in 2019
  • The court extended the non-parole period of Barrett's jail term

A man who is in jail for stabbing his niece to death and throwing her naked body off a cliff has had his sentence extended after a court found him guilty of raping the victim multiple times.

Derek Barrett, 32, of Sydney, Australia, was initially sentenced to 46 years in jail in December 2017 for stabbing to death his 26-year-old niece Mengmei Leng. Leng, a student from China who had been living with her uncle Barrett and his wife, was found dead on April 24, 2016.

Leng's naked body with more than 30 stab wounds was found bound and mutilated at the bottom of a cliff two days after the murder, reported The Sydney Morning Herald.

The abuse came to light after the chance discovery of a USB flash drive at the hands of an elderly woman with dementia in November 2019. According to the woman's daughter, how the device ended up with her mother remains a mystery as she was housebound. Upon checking, they found that the device had images and videos of sexual assault and they handed it over to the police.

The investigators soon identified the victim in the images and videos as Leng. The elderly woman had no direct connection with Barrett and the discovery was made nearly four years after Leng's death, a report from The Morning Bulletin said.

The investigators compiled these images and videos into a 60-minute video, which was submitted before the court. Wilson admitted in court that he had filmed Leng while she was bound and naked for his sexual gratification.

The court however found that he had deleted the footage from his phone in fear of being caught. The court also rejected Barrett's claim that he was in a drug-induced haze while raping and filming Leng.

A court extended the non-parole period of Barrett's jail term from 34 years to 36.5 years Thursday. Supreme Court Justice Helen Wilson said during the sentencing that if the full extent of his crime had already been known in 2017, a life sentence would have been imposed, reported 7 News.

"Leng's personal integrity was cruelly defiled by an offender who took pleasure in hurting, humiliating and degrading her," Wilson observed during the sentencing.

The court ordered Thursday a minimum of 12 years behind bars that Barrett needs to serve almost entirely at the same time as his previous sentencing.

gavel-3577254_640 (2) The man was sentenced to jail Tuesday for sexually abusing two young boys who were his godsons. Photo: pixabay