Milward example of ice catastrophe: judge

Sarah Motherwell

French student Sophie Collombet's murderer has been ordered to try and redeem himself in jail by telling everyone about the catastrophic impact of ice addiction.

In handing down a life sentence to Benjamin James Milward for the savage rape and murder of the 21-year-old exchange student, Justice Ann Lyons instructed him to use the time to make amends.

Milward can't remember why he randomly attacked Ms Collombet as she walked home from university, along the Brisbane River, on the night of March 27, 2014.

The French business student was violently raped and then left for dead on a park bench just a few weeks before she was due to leave Australia.

The Brisbane Supreme Court heard on Wednesday Milward was an ice addict who had taken several hits of the drug the day he killed Ms Collombet.

Justice Lyons said taking drugs and drinking was no excuse for "cowardly" attacking a woman alone in a park.

"Nothing can ever diminish the enormity of your appalling actions on that night," she said in sentencing the 28-year-old on Wednesday.

"She was a young woman far from home on an adventure in another country - you ended that."

Justice Lyons told Milward to redeem his life by making it clear to anyone he meets the devastating impact drug and ice addiction can have.

"It would seem that addiction to ice is immediate," she said.

"The results are always catastrophi; it's just a question of the magnitude of the catastrophe."

Justice Lyons' sentencing remarks were the first of their kind to be filmed by the media as part of a pilot program in Queensland's courts.