Two teen attackers sentenced over murder of Queanbeyan service station attendant

A teenager has been jailed for 35 years for murdering a Queanbeyan service station attendant during “a violent and uncontrolled criminal rampage”.

Pakistani national Zeeshan Akbar was stabbed to death at a Caltex outlet just outside Canberra in April 2017 during a robbery by two teens, who were aged 15 and 16 at the time.

The youths, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty in September.

The NSW Supreme Court heard the late-night murder followed a string of assaults and robberies, during which the older boy armed himself with a knife and warned anyone who got in his way would be stabbed.

“The conduct of the offenders … is best described as amounting to a violent and uncontrolled criminal rampage,” Justice Geoffrey Bellew said.

A cordon is set up at a service station in Queanbeyan where a fatal stabbing occurred
Both teenagers have pleaded guilty to the 2017 murder at the Queanbeyan service station.(ABC News: Elise Scott)

Mr Akbar was attacked from behind by the older boy in “an act of unmitigated cowardice”, the judge said, adding the 29-year-old victim was “largely if not completely defenceless”.

Justice Bellew sentenced the older boy to a maximum of 35 years and six months, with a non-parole period of 23 years and six months.

The younger offender was handed a maximum term of 18 years and four months with a non-parole period of 10 years and nine months.

‘Macabre and callous’

The judge found the older boy was preoccupied with Islamic State in the lead-up to the attack.

He wrote the letters “IS” in blood on the service station window as Mr Akbar was dying — an act described as “macabre and callous in the extreme”.

The older boy wrote a letter to the court apologising to the victim’s families.

“I honestly regret everything I did that night and I want all to know I suffer with the guilt of what I’ve done,” he wrote.

The teenager said he constantly thinks of the hurt and pain he has caused, but the judge placed little weight on his letter.

Justice Bellew accepted the older boy’s schizophrenia contributed to his offending, also noting he recorded a “disturbingly high” score in a psychopathy checklist.

The court heard the younger teen stole cigarettes and emptied the till as Mr Akbar was stabbed and had not played an “active” role in the killing.

The two boys waved down a car after the murder, stabbed the driver and stole his vehicle, telling him they had killed someone.

The murder was recorded on multiple CCTV cameras and Justice Bellew said the footage was “quite frankly, horrifying in the extreme”.

The younger boy won’t be eligible for parole until 2031, while his co-offender won’t be released until at least 2044.

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