An Airbnb host in Australia has confessed to killing his guest over failing to pay for the stay at his house in Melbourne. The murder was over $210 Australian dollars. The accused, 42-year-old Jason Colton, has been sentenced to 11 years in prison.
Colton pleaded guilty for manslaughter but denied murder on Tuesday in the Supreme Court of Victoria, reports IANS. Reports state that Colton and his housemate along with their landlord held the victim, Ramis Jonuzi, down and choked him to death. Colton said that he just wanted Jonuzi to pass out and had no intention of killing him.
The Independent stated that Ramis had initially rented Colton's place for three nights and then asked to extend his stay to a week. Ramis was staying there to work out some personal problem.
At that time, Ramis had only $10 Australian dollars and couldn't afford to pay the bill for the week's stay. He had packed his bags and was at the door when Colton and his housemate Ryan Smart attacked Ramis and tackled him to the floor. Their landlord Craig Levy also joined in attacking Ramis.
As per reports, Smart and Levy held Ramis to the ground while Colton hit and strangled him. The post-mortem report has said that Ramis died due to a compression in his neck and blunt force trauma to his head.
Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth, who was hearing the case said, "You lunged at him, grabbed him by the collar, spun him around, and threw him against the wall." She went on to describe the attack as "cowardly, vicious and unprovoked."
"Even after you were aware that he had died, you called Mr Jonuzi a scumbag, a piece of trash, a junkie, someone who deserved everything he got," she added, reports The Independent.
After Ramis lost consciousness, the three men took him to the backyard where they continued to attack him.
The housemate, Smart, and the landlord, Levy, also pleaded guilty for manslaughter. Smart has been sentenced to nine years in jail while Levy is facing seven and a half years of jail time.
Airbnb, a global housing aggregator, said in a statement that it was deeply saddened by the event. It added that the house has been removed from the listing stating, "There is no place on Airbnb for such an abhorrent act, which violates everything our global community stands for."