news

The man who murdered Michaela Dunn in Sydney CBD attack has been sentenced to 44 years.

Warning: This post deals with graphic content and might be distressing for some readers. 

"Are you OK?"

Those were the last words of 24-year-old Michaela Dunn before she was murdered by Mert Ney, who stabbed her repeatedly in Sydney's CBD on August 13, 2019. 

In the NSW Supreme Court on Friday, Justice Peter Johnson jailed Ney for 44 years with a non-parole period of 33 years.

The now-23-year-old pleaded guilty to the murder of Dunn, and also admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm for stabbing bystander Lin Bo during his frightening rampage. 

Justice Johnson found Ney was a dangerous man who had gone into the city to murder a young woman, to use violence and to terrify people.

Although he had yelled "Allahu Akbar" on the street and delivered the Islamic State salute, the judge found he was not a religious zealot and the crimes did not relate to terrorism.

Because of Ney's mental health issues, he rejected the Crown's submission that he should be jailed for the rest of his life.

Mert Ney's violent rampage in Sydney's CBD. 

On that fateful Tuesday, the then-20-year-old booked in for a sex work appointment at Dunn's Clarence Street apartment despite not having the money to pay for it.

He brought a butcher's knife with him in his bag.

Mere moments after Michaela Dunn opened the door for him, he stabbed her to death.

Mert Ney arrested by police after he killed Michaela Dunn on August 13, 2019. Image: AAP. 

At his sentence hearing in the NSW Supreme Court in March, Ney described what happened, warning Ms Dunn's friends and family who were in the courtroom that the details were "graphic" and "pretty violent" - causing the victim's mother to leave.  

ADVERTISEMENT

Ney said Dunn asked him several times if he was OK as he sat on her couch, before he brought out his weapon and "she screamed very loud". 

Ney said he then stabbed her to silence her screams. 

"I stabbed her everywhere - face, hands, arms, chest, leg," he recalled.

“I knew she was going to die. There were 20 or 30 stab wounds in her neck - she was going to die, there was no doubt about it.”

After the murder, Ney took a graphic video of himself standing over his bloodied, deceased victim. 

"I'm f***ing psycho," he wrote after sending the clip to a man on social media. "I was laughing bro. The fear."

After murdering Dunn, Ney put on a balaclava and ran through the Sydney CBD as he waved around his butcher's knife.

As he ran rampant, he stabbed a second woman in the back and attempted to stab a third woman.

Watch: The hidden numbers in violence against women in Australia. Post continues below. 


Video via Mamamia.

At one point on the streets Mert Ney shouted "Allahu Akbar" - a declaration used by Muslim people that means "God is greater". He also had a USB stick in his pocket that contained a video of the Christchurch mosque shooting, where a white supremacist killed more than 50 people at two mosques in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand.

Bystanders eventually pinned him down with a milk crate and chair as they waited for police to arrive. 

In court, the murderer did not explain what exactly motivated his extreme brutality.

"I'm not even sure why I did it," he said, adding he denied the speculation he was a terrorist or that he was seeking retribution for Muslims killed in the Christchurch massacre. 

Instead, he said he shouted "Allah Akbar" with the desire for police to shoot him.

ADVERTISEMENT

"I was hoping for the long guns to get me but the good Samaritans spoiled it," he said in court.

Michaela Dunn was murdered in 2019. Image: Instagram.  

Ney said he repeatedly watched footage of the Christchurch massacre because he had a "real bad obsession to watch really bad acts," and added that he never agreed with the perpetrators or their message. His other addictions, he said, included gambling, seeing prostitutes, taking tablets and watching pornography excessively. 

Barrister Belinda Rigg SC asked him how he felt about his crime now, to which he said he had destroyed lives for no reason.

"It was all pointless and selfish," he said.

Prosecutor Craig Everson said Ney should be sentenced to life behind bars, despite his young age, guilty plea and mental health issues. Although there was no evidence of him being linked to terrorist groups or ideologies, he was involved in his "own violent jihad" which was in his mind when he conducted himself the way he did.

Joanne Dunn, the mother of the victim, stared down her daughter's killer as she recalled the night she learned of her murder. 

Michaela Dunn's mother stared down her daughter's killer as she recalled the night two detectives delivered the tragic news. Image: Instagram. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Mrs Dunn described how the evening of "Mikki's death" began like any other Tuesday, with her daughter due to arrive home for dinner at 7pm. 

But as the hours passed, she never arrived. Her absence "extremely out-of-character," and so Mrs Dunn drove to her daughter's unit hoping to catch a housemate, hoping she was just at the movies. 

The "welcome call" from her husband to come home was not what she was expecting, as two detectives delivered the tragic news. 

"We have not just lost our daughter, but we have lost our future as it should have been."

She asked that people remember her daughter as the kind and amazing person she was, not stripped of her identity as the media originally did.

“They had no idea of the amazing woman she was,” Mrs Dunn said. “I want people to understand that Mikki could have been their daughter … she was just the girl next door.”

“It seems so wrong that the perpetrator will continue on with his life at the end of his sentence," according to Sydney Morning Herald. "He will once again get to experience the simple things in life we all take for granted: to feel the rain on his face, the wind in his hair, celebrating his 40th birthday and maybe the birth of a child,” Mrs Dunn said. “All things that have been stolen from our beautiful daughter...

“Michaela Kate Dunn: say her name out loud, proudly.”

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home. 

You can also call safe steps 24/7 Family Violence Response Line on 1800 015 188 or visit www.safesteps.org.au for further information.

Feature image: Instagram

- With AAP.