Killer’s vile slur at TV reporter
A CONVICTED killer has lashed out at a Melbourne television reporter as he was led away from court in handcuffs after being sentenced to 26 years in jail for the stabbing murder of a teen boy.
Karl Michael Hague, 44, was in April found guilty of killing 16-year-old Ricky Balcombe at Geelong's Market Square shopping centre in Victoria, in May 1995.
Hague was finally brought to justice in the Supreme Court on Friday when Justice Lex Lasry jailed him for 26 years with a non-parole period of 20 years.
But as police led Hague away in handcuffs, he refused to go quietly, instead turning to Channel 10 senior reporter Candice Wyatt in the media dock and screaming: "Get your story right you f***ing sl*t." News.com.au understands the vile outburst wasn't in reference to anything in particular about the case that Ms Wyatt had actually reported.
Ms Wyatt tweeted about the incident, sarcastically describing it as "lovely", and adding that supporters of the murderer "staged quite a show outside court".
"[They were] pushing, shoving and verbally abusing media," Ms Wyatt wrote.
"Despite telling Hague before his sentence it was 'just a number' … they're now planning to appeal his 26 year term."
News.com.au has contacted Ms Wyatt for comment.
In April this year, a Victorian Supreme Court jury found Hague guilty of murder having accepted prosecutors' claims the teen was stabbed in "payback" for damaging Hague's car during a gang fight.
Lawyers said Ricky was murdered inside the busy shopping centre southwest of Melbourne weeks after a group of youths surrounded and smashed Hague's car with a machete as he and friends cowered inside.
They claimed Hague approached the boy at the shopping centre, saying "do you remember me, motherf***er?" before pulling a knife from his jacket and stabbing him in the back.
One witness said they heard Hague letting out a "frantic scream, just like a frenzied animal".
Hague, who was 21 at the time, had denied the killing or even being present at the shopping centre when Ricky was killed.
Hague claimed he was being set-up, and that he was not in the Geelong area on the day of the murder.
"I wasn't in town that day," he told the court during his trial.
But the killer was spotted by a witness who saw Hague run up to Ricky and stab him in the back and neck before fleeing.
"You brazenly stabbed him in public at a time when there were a large number of people," Justice Lasry said in handing down the sentence.
"It was a deliberate and callous act which you had thought about for some time."
Ricky's mother Christine Loader said her life stopped the day her "beautiful son" was murdered.
She found it incredibly hard having to wait 23 years for the killer to be brought to justice.
After the sentence, Ms Loader spoke to reporters briefly, saying she was pleased with Hague's 26-year jail term.
"It'll never bring Rick back but it's a good (sentence)," she said.
- With AAP