Man given 12 years' jail over Coast killings A MAN pleaded guilty yesterday to the manslaughter of sex-shop owner Kevin Mannix and Gold Coast prostitute Lovina Cunningham and was sentenced to 12 years' jail.
Anthony Michael Duncan Rau, 23, unemployed, of Helensvale, was told his sentence had been reduced because his confession had substantially contributed to the release of the murdered man's son, Barry Mannix, who had been awaiting trial for his father's murder.
Mr Justice De Jersey in the Brisbane Supreme Court told Rau he also took into account his somewhat reluctant part in what turned out to be two grisly killings.
He jailed Rau for six years for the manslaughter of Mannix on June 22 last year and six years for the manslaughter of Cunningham on August 24 last year. The second sentence would begin when the first finished, the judge ordered.
Rau, Nicholas Koutras, 21, a hotel employee, of Moana Park, Nigel Phillip Vincent Andrews, 25, a panel beater, of Sorrento, and Craig Andrew McConnell, 20, a printer, of Paradise Waters, had all been charged with murdering Mannix.
Rau, Andrews and McConnell were also charged with murdering Cunningham. Koutras, Andrews and McConnell have yet to come to trial.
Earlier yesterday, defence counsel Mr Brian Hoath told Mr Justice De Jersey that last September, while being questioned about the theft of motor vehicles, Rau told his solicitor he knew where Kevin Mannix's missing car was. Later Rau had volunteered full details of both murders.
The Crown Prosecutor, Mr Adrian Gundelach, said Kevin Mannix's body had been found by his son Barry at the foot of the steps to his unit on the morning of June 22.
Kevin Mannix had lacerations to his throat and surgical tape wrapped around his head covering his eyes and mouth. He had four puncture wounds in his chest.
Rau told police when asked about the murder: ""He was not supposed to be murdered . . . it was a chain of events . . . he was only going to be robbed.''
Originally it had been planned to tie up Mrs Mannix and rob her flat before robbing Kevin Mannix but this plan was later changed and he and McConnell went to Mannix's unit.
When McConnell put a knife to Mannix's throat ""Kevin freaked out'', Rau told police. Mannix was taped and blindfolded and carried out ""like you'd carry a baby''. They found $8 in Mannix's wallet, Rau said.
As they were leaving the units Mannix let out a muffled scream and McConnell threw him down the stairs, Rau said. Rau said he heard a thump, like a knife stabbing someone, as he walked away.
Mr Gundelach said Lovina Cunningham worked as a prostitute under the name ""Angie''. Because of the nature of her work she had a lot of money around her Surfers Paradise unit.
Cunningham's daughter had found her on August 26 last year lying beside her bed, naked with a blue dressing gown over her head.
She had a puncture below her left breast and her throat had been cut, exposing her spine.
Rau and the other three men had been having financial problems and it was decided to rob a prostitute, Rau told police. Cunningham's name was chosen from advertisements in a Gold Coast newspaper.
Rau told police that McConnell told him he had a good conversation about her son's career with Cunningham before strangling her while having sex.