Prosecutors urge against maximum sentencing discount for murderer Pawel Klosowski

A South Australian man who pleaded guilty to the shooting murder of his son and his son’s girlfriend in the state’s south-east should not get the full 40 per cent sentencing discount, prosecutors have told the Supreme Court.

Pawel Klosowski, 46, was today arraigned on two counts of murder in front of more than 20 of the victims’ family and friends.

He has already pleaded guilty to the murders.

The bodies of his son, Lukasz Klosowski, and his son’s girlfriend, Chelsea Ireland — both aged 19 — were discovered at a property at Mount McIntyre, near Millicent, on August 22.

Prosecutor Kos Lesses told Justice Anne Bampton that Klosowski was entitled to a 40 per cent discount on sentence given his early guilty plea, but prosecutors would seek it be lowered.

Laws have since changed to ensure maximum discounts on early guilty pleas are capped at 25 per cent, following community outrage at the sentence handed to paedophile Hamzeh Bahrami earlier this year.

Despite indecently assaulting a 10-year-old girl in a public toilet at a Blair Athol playground in April 2019, Bahrami secured a 40 per cent discount which made him eligible for parole in April 2022.

Lukasz Klosowski and Chelsea Ireland were shot dead on a rural property.(Instagram)

But last Friday, the Court of Criminal Appeal found Bahrami should not have been given the full discount, saying a 30 per cent discount was more appropriate.

Two years were added to his sentence.

Mr Lesses said that “hot-off-the-press” Court of Criminal Appeal judgement would “loom large” in the Klosowski case.

Report into history and circumstances

Mr Lesses also told the court that Klosowski only had a limited criminal history, with convictions for disqualified driving and speeding in 1996.

But he said more work needed to be done to finish the prosecution’s brief of evidence.

“The police are still collating and editing parts of the prosecution brief. The bulk of the prosecution brief will be provided to defence soon, before Christmas,” he said.

A young woman celebrating her 18th birthday.
Chelsea Ireland pictured on her 18th birthday.

He asked Justice Bampton to order a report which would look into Klosowski’s personal circumstances, including his family, employment and physical and mental health.

Nick Vadasz, for Klosowski, said he would be seeking a report from a neuropsychologist.

Klosowski will face sentencing submissions in Adelaide in March next year.

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Pawel Klosowski double murder guilty plea prompts speedy passing of sentencing discount bill

An early guilty plea by South Australian father Pawel Klosowski, who shot dead his teenage son and his son’s girlfriend, has reignited debate on the state’s sentencing discount laws.

Klosowski, 46, yesterday admitted to the shooting murders of son Lukasz and Chelsea Ireland near Millicent in SA’s south-east last month.

Current laws in SA mean a judge may apply a discount to criminal sentences of up to 40 per cent, in cases where a defendant enters an early guilty plea.

Legislation which passed the Lower House today, after being introduced by the State Government earlier this month, would reduce the maximum possible discount to 25 per cent.

But any change to the law will not apply to Klosowski’s case, the State Government confirmed this afternoon, because he has already entered his guilty plea, meaning he could still be eligible for the 40 per cent discount.

“This individual has pleaded guilty to two murders, and whilst the early nature of that plea would enliven considerations in relation to a discount, I’d be hopeful that the sentence imposed reflects the gravity of the situation,” Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said today.

The change to sentencing discounts was recommended in a review released in June last year, prompting the Opposition to criticise the Government’s delay in changing the law.

SA Attorney-General Vickie Chapman said the opposition was responsible for delaying a change to the law.(ABC News)

Attorney-General Vickie Chapman brought the bill before Parliament again today after she said the Opposition delayed it passing.

The Government voted down a similar proposal put up by Labor in July.

“In relation to murder cases, there is a 20-year minimum mandatory non-parole period. If the court were persuaded to give him [Klosowki] a 35-year non-parole period, and take into account discounting, they could,” Ms Chapman told ABC Radio Adelaide, when asked about the possibility of a 40 per cent discount.

“The Opposition have been saying ‘we think you should have been doing this before’ … their bill didn’t even have a transitional clause in it.”

Current discount ‘way too big’

The sentence given to a man who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a girl in a public toilet block in Blair Athol in 2019 sparked Labor’s bill and the Liberal response.

Hamzeh Bahrami was handed a sentence of four years and nine months in prison, with a non-parole period of three years — but could be released in less than two given time already served.

The Director of Public Prosecutions described the sentence as “manifestly inadequate” and has launched an appeal.

Hamzeh Bahrami in custody.
Hamzeh Bahrami pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a girl in a toilet.(ABC News)

Ms Chapman said sentences for murder were not as badly affected by the guilty discount because of the 20-year minimum imposed by law.

But she said judges had regularly been giving a 40 per cent discount for guilty pleas, rather than treating it as a maximum option in unusual cases.

“The judiciary aren’t very happy with us changing this — they like the old system that exists to be able to have that option to go up to 40 per cent discounting,” she said.

“Nevertheless, we as the new Government consider this to be an unacceptable discount for pleading guilty so therefore we’re proposing to change it.”

Shadow Attorney-General Kyam Maher said Labor would support the legislation this week because 40 per cent was “way too big a discount”.

Mr Maher admitted the “Labor Party in government got this wrong”, something Ms Chapman agreed with.

“There were lots of outcries in the last seven years of people getting an unfair discount but they didn’t do anything about it,” she said.

Criminal defence lawyer Craig Caldicott said there were good reasons for sentencing discounts, including preventing victims being “dragged through the courts”.

“If you can get people to plead guilty early on, a couple of things occur: one it saves money — we don’t have an expensive trial,” he said.

“Two, it shows an amount of remorse. Three, it means the victim doesn’t go through the trauma.”

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Slain teens Chelsea Ireland and Lukasz Klosowski remembered as ‘beautiful souls’ at funerals

Chelsea Ireland and Lukasz Klosowski have been remembered as ‘beautiful souls’ as two separate, private funerals were held for the couple.

Chelsea Ireland and her long term boyfriend Lukasz Klosowski, both 19, were shot in an alleged double murder near Millicent in South Australia on August 22.

Lukasz’s father Pawel Klosowski, 46, has been charged with their murders.

Ms Ireland has been remembered by her family as a “compassionate, selfless young woman”.

Her father Greg, mother Debrah and sister Maddie said Chelsea was someone who was a compassionate, strong, selfless and fearless young woman.

Mr Ireland said the family had been overwhelmed with the outpouring support they received following their daughter’s death.

Mr Klosowski was remembered as a “beautiful soul” at his funeral service on Thursday.

Mourners offered tributes at the service held at the Church of the Resurrection in Unley.

One mourner remembered the aspiring journalist as a ‘beautiful soul’ and for his sense of humour.

“It’s very hard to find any words. There’s no words to describe what happened,” they said.

“I’ll never forget him, the sense of humour, the kindness, the family style, all that was represented.”

Camera IconMr Klosowski was remembered at the Church of the Resurrection in Unley. Credit: Supplied, Nine News.

Instead of flowers, both families have asked for donations to the Adelaide non-profit for at-risk youth PuddleJumpers — where Ms Ireland was a volunteer.

The organisation launched a fundraiser in Ms Ireland’s name, in hopes her legacy lives on — asking for donations of toys, books and games to make up children’s packs that will be distributed on food drives.

PuddleJumpers took to Facebook and honoured the ‘amazing volunteer’ who helped serve meals to families.

“Together with support from Chelsea’s family and her friends from PuddleJumpers, we’re seeking your support in honouring Chelsea’s Legacy,” the post said.

“Chelsea was always an amazing volunteer who the children were drawn to.

“Thank you for helping us pay tribute to a beautiful soul who I am sure would love to see so many children and families receiving support in her memory.”

Lukasz and Chelsea met at a school formal after-party and had been dating for several years.
Camera IconLukasz and Chelsea met at a school formal after-party and had been dating for several years. Credit: Facebook

Pawel Klosowski, 46, faced the Mount Gambier Magistrates Court last month over their deaths.

He remains in custody until he reappears in court in December.

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Father accused of shooting murders of teenage couple Lukasz Klosowski and Chelsea Ireland

The identity of a father accused of the shooting murders of his teenage son and his son’s girlfriend in rural South Australia at the weekend can be revealed.

Pawel Klosowski, 46, faced the Mount Gambier Magistrates Court on Monday charged with two counts of murder.

Details surrounding his identity were suppressed by the court as part of an interim order, which also meant details about the identities of the victims could not be published.

But that suppression has now expired, allowing him to be named.

Police were called to a property at Mount McIntyre near Millicent just before midnight on Saturday where Lukasz Klosowski and girlfriend Chelsea Ireland, both 19, were found with fatal gunshot wounds.

Young Adelaide couple Lukasz and Chelsea were shot dead on a rural property in South Australia.(Instagram)

The young couple from Adelaide were visiting the state’s south-east for the weekend.

Tributes are continuing to flow for the 19-year-olds, with both their former schools organising memorial services.

Earlier this week, friends took to social media to pay their respects.

“The ongoing legacy of friendships and love that [Chelsea] and Lukasz left will not be forgotten,” one friend wrote.

A young woman celebrating her 18th birthday.
Chelsea Ireland was studying mechanical engineering at university.

Another friend wrote that she was “completely heartbroken” by the deaths.

“It feels impossible to find the words to express how much you made an impact on people’s lives,” she said.

Ms Ireland completed her Year 12 studies at St Mary’s College while Lukasz, nicknamed Wu, attended Christian Brothers College (CBC).

“Our CBC community is devastated to learn of the tragic passing of old scholar, Lukasz,” CBC principal Daniel Lynch said on Monday.

A young man stands in front of a canal and homes.
Adelaide teenager Lukasz Klosowski attended Christian Brothers College.(Facebook)

St Mary’s College principal Clare Nocka said the community was reeling from the tragedy.

“Our St Mary’s College community is shocked and devastated to learn of the tragic death of old scholar, Chelsea,” Ms Nocka said on Monday.

Pawel Klosowski, who is also known as Paul, remains in custody and did not make an application for bail on Monday.

He is expected to reappear in court in December.

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