Jailed for 27 years for ‘brutal, cowardly’ murder of World War II vet

Ken Handford (left) and Adam Lucas Williamson (right).
Ken Handford (left) and Adam Lucas Williamson (right).

An ice user who murdered an elderly World War II veteran in rural Victoria, taking off with his war medals, has been jailed for 27 years.

Adam Lucas Williamson, 40, was the "driving force" behind the fatal burglary at the Springbank home of Kenneth Handford in September 2015.

In sentencing on Tuesday, Supreme Court of Victoria Justice Jane Dixon described Williamson's conduct as "brutal and cowardly".

Williamson organised the burglary because he knew the 89-year-old would be in possession of a large sum of money, because of his habit of not using banks.

Williamson falsely told his co-offender Jonathan Jeffrey Cooper that Mr Handford was a paedophile before Cooper stabbed the veteran 13 times.

"He ultimately stabbed the deceased repeatedly in the back while he was tied up and unable to defend himself," Justice Dixon said.

"You are therefore criminally responsible even though you did not inflict the stab wounds to Mr Handford."

Williamson must serve 23 years in jail before he is eligible for parole.

Speaking outside court, Mr Handford’s granddaughter, Leah, said the family could finally grieve properly.

“The fact that this fight is over means one thing for us, it means we won't have to live like this anymore and we'll have the opportunity to grieve a much loved man,” she said. 

Wlliamson’s sentence follows Cooper’s 24-year sentence in February this year.

Cooper had originally only been sentenced 16 years, however the Director of Public Prosecutions successfully argued the sentence was too lenient.