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Codey Herrmann Sentenced To 36 Years In Jail For Murder Of Aya Maasarwe

The man who violently raped and murdered 21-year-old exchange student Aya Maasarwe has been sentenced in a Melbourne court, as her family faced him for the first time.

Codey Herrmann, 20, was sentenced to 36 years in jail for his crimes.

He will be eligible for parole in 30 years.

Maasarwe's father, Saeed, and her sisters faced her killer for the first time on Tuesday.

Speaking in front of the court after the sentencing, Mr Maasarwe said he doesn't "focus on the years" handed down to Herrmann.

"I want to send a message, don't let the people think to take the life of another person," he said.

"We don't focus about the revenge ... this is not our focus.

"But we need to care for the society, for the people, for the ladies."

Maasarwe's family sobbed in court as Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth detailed her final moments.

"You struck her with the clear intention of killing her," the judge told Herrmann.

Hollingworth called the attack "unsophisticated" and "opportunistic", as she delivered her judgement, which lasted nearly an hour.

"The attack was entirely unprovoked, driven by what one of the experts in this case described as the 'angry type of homicide'," Hollingworth said.

Horrific details of Herrmann's attack on Maasarwe were revealed to the public earlier this month.

Palestinian with Israeli citizenship, Maasarwe was living in Australia as an exchange student, studying at Melbourne's La Trobe University.

Aya Maasarwe. Photo: Twitter/Candice Wyatt.

Maasarwe was attacked by Herrmann as she made her way home after a night out with friends. Herrmann followed her through the streets of Melbourne's CBD and then attacked her after she disembarked from a tram in Bundoora in the city's north on January 16.

Maasarwe was on the phone to her sister as a safety precaution when Herrmann pounced. Her sister heard her scream "you piece of shit" before she was hit with a pole.

The pole used in Herrmann's attack. Image: AAP/ Victoria Police.

Herrmann's attack, rape and murder of Massarwe lasted roughly 15 minutes. His lawyer admitted that his client didn't know how many times he hit the student with the pole.

The evidence claims she was struck four times initially, followed by another nine. Herrmann then dragged Maasarwe's body into some hedges and sexually assaulted her.

The place where Aya was murdered. Image: AAP/ Victoria Police.

Herrmann's lawyer claimed he didn't mean to strangle his victim. It is still unclear if Maasarwe was still alive when her attacker doused her body in WD-40 spray and set her alight using a barbeque lighter.

Hollingworth said the treatment of her body showed "utter contempt for her dignity".

Police found DNA that linked Herrmann to the crime on weapons discarded near Maasarwe's burned remains.

Crime

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Hollingworth told Herrmann that "women should be free to walk the streets alone without fear of being attacked by strangers.”

Mr Maasarwe said he wanted the world to remember his daughter as someone "who loved people".

"She was happy, she was positive, she liked life, she liked to help," he said outside court after her killer learned his fate.

"It didn't matter which religion, which nation, which colour, what is your mind. She looked at the people at the same level."

"This was Aya."

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au