WA women thrill killers jailed for life

Feb 28, 2018

Two Perth women who lured 18-year-old Aaron Pajich, the friend of one of their sons, to a house and stabbed him to death in a thrill kill have been jailed for life.

The case shocked Perth, given the unusual situation in which two women without criminal records ambushed a vulnerable, young man and killed him for a thrill.

Jemma Victoria Lilley, 26, the supermarket shelf stacker who desperately wanted to be a serial killer, met Trudi Clare Lenon, 44, a mother of three, in early 2016 and invited her to stay at her house in suburban Orelia.

Lilley's obsession with violence, including telling friends she wanted to kill someone and writing a fiction book about a serial killer called SOS, which she called herself, and Lenon's bondage identity as a submissive proved tragically fatal for Aaron.

After they started living together, they shared violent fantasies that progressed into an actual plan in which Lenon identified her own 13-year-old son's vulnerable friend, who was trusting and showed signs of Asperger syndrome, as a suitable victim.

Lenon, who had also met Aaron at a local TAFE, lured him to the house on June 13, 2016, on the pretence of seeing her son to play computer games.

A security camera in the backyard of Lilley and Lenon's backyard shows chilling footage of the pair walking inside with Aaron, and Lenon also locking a back gate to trap him and pulling a knife out of her clothing.

That footage helped expose Lilley's lies to police about having never met Aaron and her story that she was out on a motorbike trip the day he died.

The pair left an obvious evidence trail, from the freshly concreted and tiled backyard grave one of Lenon's unaware sons helped lay, to bloodstains and other evidence and Lenon's phone calls to Aaron the day he died.

When his body was found, a post-mortem concluded he had died from two knife wounds to his chest and neck after a wire garrotte had likely broken on his neck, with Lilley probably stabbing him while Lenon help him down.

The pain would have been significant, said state prosecutor James MacTaggart.

A young man whose life was just beginning was selected and killed for the "most morally repugnant of reasons", Supreme Court Justice Stephen Hall said.

"This is an offence that would cause all right-thinking people to have feelings of horror and revulsion."

He noted the pair had not the "slightest regard or remorse" and had "derived malicious pleasure" from the suffering of Aaron's family and public appeals when he was missing.

The two women did not say anything but looked shocked after the sentences, in which they will be eligible for parole after 28 years, were read out by Justice Hall.

Psychiatric reports indicated Lilley was, in Justice Hall's words, a "highly disturbed and psychologically damaged young woman" who continues to deny the murder and plans to appeal.

The courtroom was packed and Aaron's mother Sharon Pajich said outside court she was happy with the sentence.

Aaron's father Keith Sweetman said the family was suffering and his partner, Veronica Desmond, said Aaron was much loved and she hoped his killers would rot and regret what they had done.