Celeste Manno’s grieving mother blasts her daughter’s alleged killer after he refused to appear in court: ‘Cowardly act’
- Luay Sako, 35, was charged with murder of Celeste Manno in November 2020
- Mr Sako allegedly stabbed 23-year-old Ms Manno in her Mernda apartment
- Ms Manno’s mother has labelled Mr Sako a ‘coward’ after refusing to attend court
- Magistrate Donna Bakos adjourned the matter for 10 weeks delays in evidence
The mother of murdered Victorian woman Celeste Manno has slammed her daughter’s alleged killer’s court no-show as a ‘cowardly act’.
Luay Sako, 35, has been charged with the stabbing murder of Ms Manno, 23, in her family home at Mernda, in Melbourne‘s northeast, in November 2020.
Sako had allegedly been stalking Ms Manno, his former colleague, for a year before her death.
Aggie Di Mauro (pictured left), mother of Celeste Manno (pictured right) has slammed her daughter’s killer after he refused to attend a court hearing, calling it a ‘cowardly act’
The Roxburgh Park man was on Tuesday listed to attend a committal mention at Melbourne Magistrates Court via audio visual link.
Magistrate Donna Bakos adjourned the matter for 10 weeks due to delays in evidence before it was revealed the alleged killer had refused to attend the court hearing.
Ms Manno’s mother, Aggie Di Mauro, asked Ms Bakos on the virtual hearing link how Sako could refuse to attend.
‘You can imagine how I would see this as a cowardly act not to attend his own hearing,’ Ms Di Mauro said to the magistrate.
Luay Sako (pictured), 35, allegedly stalked and stabbed Celeste Manno to death in her Mernda apartment, in November 2020
‘I thought they cannot refuse to attend court. How come this is available?’
‘You’re correct – when they’re charged with offences they don’t have a choice,’ Ms Bakos responded.
‘But because this matter is being adjourned, and because he’s represented, it’s not in anyone’s interest for him to be dragged in cuffs to the room to be told the matter is being adjourned.’
Chris Ridsdale, Ms Manno’s former boyfriend, posted an emotional online tribute that featured a photo of the smiling couple days after her death.
Ms Manno’s mother, Aggie Di Mauro, asked Ms Bakos on the virtual hearing link how Sako could refuse to attend
It was the first and final photo of the pair together to be uploaded on social media.
‘For those who know me and know how little I use Facebook or Instagram, you know this was something I didn’t really care much to do,’ Mr Ridsdale wrote when republishing the picture.
‘Now it seems like the best thing I can do for her.
‘To show everyone how much she meant to me and how beautiful she was.’
Ms Manno was a university graduate, with family describing her as universally loved and intelligent.
Sako will next face court on September 20.
Celeste Manno’s alleged killer refuses to attend court, after murder in Mernda, Melbourne