Craig Catley loses appeal against sentence for killing his mum Rhonda in her Gateshead home

Craig Daniel Catley was 27 when he bashed and stabbed his mother in her Gateshead home.A MAN who killed his mother just two years after he was hailed a hero of the 2007 Pasha Bulka storm has failed to have his 12-year jail sentence reduced on appeal.

Craig Daniel Catley was 27 when he bashed and stabbed his mother Rhonda Catley in her Gateshead home in the early hours of October 16, 2009.

Catley pleaded not guilty to murder at a trial in Newcastle Supreme Court, but was found guilty by a jury of manslaughter based on a finding that he was substantially impaired.

Catley and his mother had been drinking together when an argument broke out, the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal heard on Friday.

After killing his mother Catley then killed her two cats before alerting neighbours to what he’d done about 4am that day.

Catley told a prison psychiatrist the day after the killing that he had suffered from depression and had heard voices in his head for about 18months.

He was diagnosed with a form psychosis and was prescribed medication, but the jury was not convinced that his illness amounted to a complete defence to the murder charge.

Catley appealed the severity of his sentence, which had a nine-year minimum, but the Court of Criminal Appeal dismissed it on Friday.

Justice Robert Hulme told the Court of Criminal Appeal that Catley’s offence was a serious example of manslaughter and animal cruelty that required a significant jail term.

Catley was hailed a hero in 2007 when he and a friend dived into five-metre deep water to rescue a woman and her child who were trapped in a car at Warners Bay.

He will be eligible for parole in October 2018.

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