Melbourne McDonalds Worker Jailed For Killing Customer
Lonely Melbourne widower Elia Abdelmessih was 69 when he was found bludgeoned to death, a tin of mangoes and a statue of the Virgin Mary near his body.
The identity of his killer remained a mystery for 13 years.
But the reason why "unsophisticated and unworldly" 23-year-old McDonald's worker Katia Pyliotis killed her customer at his own home in a "frenzied attack" has never been revealed.
On Thursday, Pyliotis - now 37 - was jailed for 19 years.
Mr Abdelmessih was newly widowed when he started dining at Kew McDonald's, sometimes several times a day, serenading the staff and showing "over-friendly" behaviour.
But on September 18, 2005, Pyliotis visited Mr Abdelmessih's house and bludgeoned him to death before leaving his face submerged in a bowl of bloodied liquid.
Bloodstained items were found throughout the house including a broken statue, a dented tin of mangoes and tracksuit pants near the body, as well as bloodstained towels, toilet paper, a broken wine bottle and cellophane on a bunch of flowers in the laundry trough.
Mr Abdelmessih, whose scalp was partially separated from his skull, died from a head injury.
"The crime scene was complex because Mr Abdelmessih's house was kept in a chaotic state," Supreme Court of Victoria Justice Paul Coghlan said during sentencing.
"I am prepared to conclude that although there was a frenzied attack on Mr Abdelmessih ... the attack was not premeditated and it was likely to have been triggered by some event, the nature of which cannot be established."
Justice Coghlan said without any evidence, he couldn't put any blame on the deceased man.
"His behaviour was unusual and to a degree over-friendly," he said.
"But there is no evidence of any dealing he had with you that was out of the ordinary."
In 2006, Pyliotis moved to South Australia.
But she'd left her blood and DNA on a number of items in the house including at least one of the murder weapons and a black glove with a torn finger, found near the body.
In 2016, Pyliotis provided police with a saliva swab over a minor matter and her DNA was matched to the deadly crime scene. She was extradited to Victoria.
From prison, she was recorded in phone conversations intimating she'd been at the crime scene, but claimed she'd found the victim dead.
She pleaded not guilty to murder, but was convicted by a Supreme Court of Victoria jury in December last year.
Pyliotis, who has already served 1032 days in custody, will be eligible for release on parole after serving 15-and-a-half years.
Justice Coghlan said after the murder, Pyliotis had herself been the victim of a serious home invasion where she'd been stabbed several times, and subsequently suffered post-traumatic stress disorder.
She had suffered complications with gastric band surgery and had attempted to take her own life twice, he noted.