Masa’s brave dad faces accused killer

Written By komlim puldel on Jumat, 20 Maret 2015 | 20.01

A man accused of the stabbing murder of Melbourne teen Masa Vukotic will return to court.

THE courageous dad of murdered schoolgirl Masa Vukotic came face to face with the man accused of killing his daughter.

Slavoljub Vukotic stared intently at accused child killer Sean Christian Price throughout a 12-minute hearing in Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Friday.

It came as details about the murder — which the Herald Sun cannot legally report — rocked the State Government, amid concerns about public safety.

"This is a very serious matter and the Government is very concerned about safeguarding the community," a government spokeswoman said.

"The Government is giving careful consideration to how to respond to this matter in a way that does not adversely affect the legal proceedings.''

Masa Vukotic. Source: Supplied

Masa Vukotic's father leaves Melbourne Magistrates' Court. Picture: Andrew Henshaw Source: News Corp Australia

Mr Price, 31, sat behind a protective glass barrier, flanked by two Protective Services Officers, and appeared to gaze back at Mr Vukotic for minutes on end.

At other times, the accused rolled his head, as if bored by the proceedings.

Mr Vukotic kept a restrained and dignified silence.

POLICE ALLEGE ACCUSED KILLER WENT ON ORGY OF VIOLENCE

But his eyes remained fixed. Only later did he allow himself a moment to sit, head in hands.

Outside court, members of the extended family told the Herald Sun the 17-year-old's immediate family were too grief-stricken to speak, but that they feel hurt that a system failure may have led to Masa's brutal death.

"They are angry because this may have been able to be avoided," a family friend said.

"We need to fix the system to stop others going through this pain."

Inside court, Mr Price's lawyer said that her client had concerns about his treatment in custody.

Mr Price was charged with one count of murder.

He was also charged with rape, three assaults and two robberies that occurred in the hours before his apprehension at 11.30am on Thursday.

Police said they were obtaining CCTV footage from 12 suburbs over a seven-day period. They also asked for time to conduct DNA tests.

Back in Doncaster, where the Canterbury Girls' Secondary College student was stabbed to death just 500m from home, locals expressed relief that a suspect had been charged.

Sean Price is driven to St Kilda Rd police station. Picture: Jake Nowakowski Source: HeraldSun

Kate sobbed as she and her daughter placed flowers at the entrance to the Koonung Creek park Friday morning.

"It has been absolutely shattering for our family," she said.

"It is clearly not about us but my daughter, aged in her early 20s, walked across that bridge 10 minutes before Masa.

"We have just felt utterly devastated, because we missed a bullet but someone else lost their girl," Kate said.

"I have hardly stopped crying for two days just thinking about what might have been and also what was.

"It is hard to comprehend."

Sean Christian Price faces court. Sketch: Mitchell Toy Source: HeraldSun

Kate said: "I always run on my own, but I will not do that any more.

"We will now go together.

"You don't want this to change your life, but you also have to be sensible. This felt like such a close shave.

"I have noticed this morning people walking in twos and threes, which I don't normally see. It brings the horror of the news into your home.

"Things like this shift you in your sense of safety," she said. "You don't forget."

Neighbours of Mr Price in Albion, near Sunshine, spoke of their concern that they did not know who was living in the public housing flat.

"You never know when they will go off — they should tell us who they are," one neighbour said.

Mr Price was remanded in custody until June 26.

jon.kaila@news.com.au

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