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Victorian Prosecutors To Appeal Sentence Given To Aya Maasarwe's Killer

Victoria's office of public prosecutions plans to appeal the sentence handed to Codey Herrmann after the brutal rape and murder of Aya Maasarwe.

Last month, Herrmann, 20, was sentenced to 36 years in prison for his crimes with a non-parole period of 30 years.

But in a statement on Tuesday, the Director of Public Prosecutions Kerri Judd said an appeal would be lodged on two main grounds, arguing that the sentencing judge erred in his findings.

Firstly, the DPP's office claims that the use of Verdins principles in sentencing, which generally relates to "mental impairment", was wrongly used to reduce Herrmann's moral culpability and the need for general and specific deterrence.

Judd also claimed the individual sentences, the total effective sentence and the non-parole period were "manifestly inadequate" when considering the circumstances of the crime.

Maasarwe who was living in Melbourne while on exchange, was attacked by Herrmann as she made her way home after a night out with friends in January.

Image: Supplied/10 News First

Her brutal rape and murder sparked a national outpouring of grief as details of her final moments spent on the phone with her sister back home emerged.

In court, it was heard that Herrmann followed Maasarwe through the streets of Melbourne's CBD and then attacked her after she disembarked from a tram in Bundoora in the city's north.

Maasarwe was bashed with a pole before being dragged into a bush and sexually assaulted. Her body was later set alight.

During the Supreme Court sentencing, Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth said Herrmann had struck the student with the "clear intention of killing her" and described the attack as "unsophisticated" and "opportunistic".

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

Image: AAP

During his sentencing, Hollingworth said Herrmann's personality disorder arose out of his "deprived background" and said the Verdins principles were in some way applicable to decrease his moral culpability.

"Although the mitigatory effect of your youth is substantially reduced because of the seriousness of this offending, it still has some role to play in sentencing you," Hollingworth told Herrmann in court.

At the time, the prosecution urged the court to hand down a life sentence.

No date has been set for the appeal hearing.