UNPROVOKED COWARDLY VIOLENT
Cole Miller's killer jailed for seven years Mum's heart 'shattered into a million pieces' Campaigner demands end to one punch violence
COLE Miller’s mum says her heart “shattered into a million pieces” after a coward punch took her son’s life.
Armstrong Renata, who threw that punch on January 3 last year, was sentenced to seven years in jail but will be eligible for parole in 2021.
Cole was a popular Sunshine Coast water polo player and surf lifesaver.
Only 18, he was ready to embark on “life’s great journey”, his father Steven said yesterday.
His death left a void which could never be filled, Mr Miller told Brisbane Supreme Court.
“It was a nightmare that no-one should have to endure.”
Renata, 23, put his head in his hands as Mr Miller began reading victim impact statements.
“My greatest concern ... is that my three children won’t be able to lead normal lives,” Mr Miller added.
“I pray that my children can move on and survive.”
Cole’s mother Mary-Leigh said her “heart shattered into a million pieces” and she had “continual and desperate yearning” to return to the way life was before.
“My life as I knew it came to an end” when Cole died, she said in a statement read to the court.
“I endure constant pressure from the world around me to move on.”
Renata pleaded guilty earlier this year to unlawful striking causing death.
Courts have already dealt with his friend Daniel Maxwell who started the fight on a booze-fuelled summer night.
“We had no right to do what we did and I’m sorry,” Renata said. “I can’t imagine the pain and trauma I’ve caused this family.”
Crown prosecutor David Meredith said the 18-year-old
“would not have seen the attack coming” that night in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.
Renata’s barrister Angus Edward told the court: “Nothing I submit now can take away from the tragedy
He said Renata had shown “genuine remorse” and entered an early guilty plea.
Outside court, Steven Miller said his heart went out to all victims of violence.
Asked what he thought of Renata reading an apology letter, he said: “I think if I was him, I would’ve apologised too.”
He said the sentence handed down yesterday was
Cole suffered brain trauma and his family later had to decide to turn off his life support in hospital.
A huge crowd gathered at St Stephen’s Cathedral in Brisbane’s CBD for his funeral last year.
A paddle out at Mooloolaba Surf Life Saving Club also commemorated his life.
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Cole Miller's mother Mary-Leigh leaves the Supreme Court Brisbane, yesterday; Cole Miller's father Steven speaks to the media outside the Supreme Court yesterday; a young Cole Miller; and Armstrong Renata.