Cole Miller's killer jailed for seven years Mum's heart 'shat­tered into a mil­lion pieces' Cam­paigner de­mands end to one punch vi­o­lence

Sunshine Coast Daily - - FRONT PAGE - John Weekes John.Weekes@news­re­gional­me­dia.com.au

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

and loss.”

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

“pre­pared pro­fes­sion­ally”.

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.

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