KARL HAGUE COURT
A man has been jailed for 26 years for the 1995 stabbing murder of a teenage boy at a Geelong shopping centre.
Karl Michael Hague, 44, was in April found guilty of killing 16-year-old Ricky Balcombe at Geelong's Market Square shopping centre in May 1995, a crime he got away with for decades.
Hague was finally brought to justice in the Supreme Court on Friday when Justice Lex Lasry jailed him for 26 years with a non-parole period of 20 years.
The killer abused journalists as he was taken from the dock after the sentence was handed down.
"Get your story right you f***ing slut," Hague said as he walked past reporters.
Justice Lasry accepted that Ricky was stabbed as payback for damaging a Kingswood car that Hague was sitting inside during a gang fight two weeks earlier.
Hague, who was 21 at the time, had denied the killing or even being present at the shopping centre when Ricky was killed.
But the killer was spotted by a witness who saw Hague run up to Ricky and stab him in the back and neck before fleeing.
"You brazenly stabbed him in public at a time when there were a large number of people," Justice Lasry said.
"It was a deliberate and callous act which you had thought about for some time."
Ricky's mother Christine Loader said her life stopped the day her "beautiful son" was murdered.
She found it incredibly hard having to wait 23 years for the killer to be brought to justice.
After the sentence, Ms Loader spoke to reporters briefly, saying she was pleased with Hague's 26-year jail term.
"It'll never bring Rick back but it's a good (sentence)," she said.