A young man accused of throwing a disabled teenager from a bridge is closely related to a high-profile murder victim who was shot down in a drug related attack.
Matthew Leuthwaite, 22, was charged with several offences including attempted murder after he allegedly abducted and tortured Kayla Kendrigan, 19, with three friends in western Sydney last week.
The alleged torturer is related to Devril Leuthwaite, a 17-year-old boy who was fatally shot at an armed home invasion at Werrington, Sydney’s west, in August 2010.
Devril’s brother Robert Leuthwaite Jr was also shot but managed to survive, news.com.au reported.
Gavin Anthony Bell pleaded guilty to the murder of Devril in 2013 and Justice Peter Hall said the young man had been murdered ‘on the threshold of his adult life’.
The court also heard the incident was drug related.
Justice Hall said the home invasion was ‘an outrageous piece of conduct’ which was organised solely for ‘personal gain in terms of money and drugs’.
Devril screamed ‘stop shooting me’ while he guarded his brother and baby niece, the court heard.
While Bell did not intend to murder the teenager, he encountered ‘strong resistance’ and fired the fatal bullet, news.com.au reported.
He was sentenced to a maximum of 27 years and 10 months for murder.
Matthew Leuthwaite was a child when his family was threatened in the drug related attack.
The 22-year-old now remains in custody alongside the three co-accused, Brooke Brown, 19, and a 17-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy who can’t be named.
Brown and Leuthwaite reportedly have a three-year-old son, who lives with his mother, Ms Kendrigan and another person, in the very same house the victim was allegedly tortured in.
The group of four allegedly forced Ms Kendrigan into the boot of a car and drove her to a home in Whalan in Sydney’s west where she was brutally tortured and then thrown off Windsor Bridge into the Hawkesbury River in the early hours of Sunday morning last week.
The teenager, who was born without her left hand, said she floated on her back as freezing cold water stung bleeding wounds covering her body.
‘I was just thinking to myself ‘Do I let myself drown?’,’ the brave teenager told A Current Affair while reliving the painful moments she floated in the water.
‘My whole body was frozen because the water felt like I was thrown into ice.’
Police allege Ms Kendrigan, who has ‘below average learning ability’, was bound to a chair with a phone charger, stabbed in the thigh with a knife, hit with a baseball bat, had her hair hacked off and was set alight during a six-hour ordeal.
The teenage girl’s ‘significant birth defect’ meant she could not fight back, according to police facts.
The accused face a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison if found guilty.
Daily Mail Australia is not suggesting Matthew Leuthwaite is involved with drugs.
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