Relative of backpacker killer admits hacking friend to death with an axe

  • @kathymarksoz

A teenage relative of Ivan Milat, the Australian serial killer who murdered seven backpackers including two Britons in the early 1990s, pleaded guilty yesterday to hacking a friend to death with an axe.

The teenager, who cannot be named, killed 17-year-old David Auchterlonie in Belanglo State Forest, south-west of Sydney, last year. In that same forest, Milat murdered his victims and dumped their bodies in shallow graves.

According to court documents, the boy bragged about his actions the next day, telling friends: "You know me, you know my family ... I did what they do. I killed somebody last night."

The murder and the events that preceded it were recorded on a mobile phone by one of four boys who drove into the forest on 20 November, supposedly to celebrate David's birthday. It shows the victim rolling joints in the front seat, then being lured out of the car by Milat's relative, who accuses him of telling people he had stolen money from his mother.

The chilling video shows the teenager swinging an axe at David, who tries to run away but is chased down and forced to lie on the ground. The boy then stands over David as the latter pleads for his life. "You move, I chop your head off," he warns.

According to the court papers, the phone then records the sound of axe blows, including a final fatal blow to David's head, and the sound of him expiring. Milat's relative and another boy covered the body with branches. The third boy reported the murder to police the next day.

Campbelltown Children's Court, in western Sydney, heard that the teenager boasted about the murder he planned to commit that night. Rubbing his hands together, he told a female friend: "We're going out to Belanglo. Someone's going to die."

The boy, who will be sentenced in December, wrote a poem about the murder while in custody and tried to post it to his mother.