Former colleague of Celeste Manno who allegedly broke into her home and stabbed her to death in a frenzied knife attack DOESN’T have mental health issues, court hears
- A man has been charged with the murder of Melbourne woman Celeste Manno
- Luay Sako’s lawyer told court he does not have any prior mental health issues
- The 35-year-old is alleged to have broke into Ms Manno’s home and stabbed her
The man charged with the gruesome stabbing murder of a young graduate has no mental health issues, a court heard.
Luay Sako’s lawyer told Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday his client was not on any medication at the time Celeste Manno, 23, was allegedly killed, and has no history of psychological illness.
The 35-year-old allegedly smashed through his former colleague’s window at her family home in Melbourne’s northeast, before repeatedly stabbing her with a knife as she lay in bed about 4.10am on Monday.
He then allegedly fled over a fence that was left stained with blood.
Sako handed himself in to local police hours later and was taken to hospital under police guard and treated for a hand injury that required surgery.
Celeste Manno, 23, was allegedly murdered in her Melbourne home in the early hours of Monday
Luay Sako, 35, handed himself in to local police hours after Ms Manno’s death and was taken to hospital under police guard, and was charged with murder on Thursday night
The alleged killer was scheduled to appear via videolink at the Thursday night hearing.
However, legal proceedings continued without his presence due to ‘technical difficulties’.
His lawyer, Sam Norton from Stary Norton Halphen, noted it was the first time his client had ever been in custody.
However, it was later revealed that Sako was out on bail at the time of Ms Manno’s alleged murder.
Sako was freed to live in the community after being charged with breaching an restraining order.
Mr Norton confirmed Sako had no mental health issues when Magistrate Luisa Bazzani asked about his client’s custody management requirements.
Police prosecutors told the court they were bogged down by the ‘sheer volume of exhibits’ gathered from the crime scene and require ‘more time’ to examine them.
Detective Senior Constable Michael Drew said the prosecution also needs to go through exhaustive telecommunication records and CCTV footage.
Magistrate Bazzani granted the request and Sako will remain behind bars until April 27 next year, before his committal hearing.
Police have until March 16 to provide a brief of evidence to the court and just 14 days to present a summary of the allegation to Sako’s legal team.
Ms Manno was Sako’s team leader at a Serco call centre before he was fired from the role
Ms Manno is pictured with her partner, Chris Ridsdale, who had been looking forward to celebrating her birthday this week
Ms Manno was Sako’s team leader at a Serco call centre in South Morang and comforted him when he left the company a year ago.
Sako’s family is devastated by his arrest and said they didn’t know much about what he had been doing recently. He was unemployed and living at his parent’s house.
There has been an outpouring of grief over the shocking alleged murder of Ms Manno, who was supposed to be celebrating her birthday this week.
There has been an outpouring of grief for Ms Manno
Ms Manno’s boyfriend Chris Ridsdale was among many family and friends who mourned the beloved young woman in the days after her death.
‘She was supposed to be having Christmas with our family. Her family. Her mother. Her brothers,’ he said.
Mr Ridsdale revealed her excitement to upload the first photo of them as a couple to her social media profiles.
‘We took this picture on Saturday this week,’ he wrote.
‘We talked and joked about how this would be the first picture of us together on her social media and she was so excited to share it with everyone.
‘I was told, very clearly, that this was to be my new profile picture.’
Mr Ridsdale said he rarely uses his social media accounts, but uploaded it on Wednesday as a special tribute Ms Manno.
‘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,’ he said.
Grieving family: Ms Manno’s brothers Jayden (left), Alesandro, uncle Gabriel and father Tony Manno, with her beloved baby niece Daisy, addressed the media this week
Heartbroken also shared a moving TikTok video showing her living life to the fullest before she was found dead in her home.
Snippets of video showed her singing karaoke, hugging friends, dressing up in a Santa outfit, and bursting out laughing while hitting the dance floor,
The video titled ‘Forever miss you, Rest In Peace my angel’ was met with an outpouring of grief when it was posted online.
Ms Manno was studying at university
‘I got goosebumps watching this. She looked like the most sweetest and kindest person. She didn’t deserve for her life to end. RIP Celeste,’ one friend commented.
Another wrote: ‘I saw this on the news and it broke my heart. She was too young and beautiful to be taken from this world.’
Ms Manno’s older brother Jayden described her as a ‘bright, intelligent young woman’ who was ‘the best of all us.’
‘She was loved by everyone – there isn’t a soul on this Earth who could ever say a bad thing,’ The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Her younger brother Alessandro said: ‘It was only two days ago when we were both making homemade pizzas together and having a great time by the pool and talking about seeing our niece tomorrow.’
‘I can’t believe you’re gone and I’m never gonna see you again. You were so perfect in every way and I just can’t believe this is real.’
A relative of Sako said they were ‘mortified’ by Ms Manno’s death and his arrest.
‘This came out of the blue… We can’t do anything, it is not easy. It is very sad,’ they told the Herald Sun.
A grief-stricken man is pictured laying flowers outside the home of Ms Manno
Pictured: The crime scene in Mernda where Ms Manno was found dead this week