A MAN who raped and murdered a 21-year-old student has penned a handwritten note to her parents telling them not to "give in to hate".
Codey Herrmann, 21, bludgeoned Aiia Maasarwe over the head and dragged her into a bush on a Melbourne street in January of this year.
After sexually assaulting her, he doused her body using WD-40 spray and set her on fire in a bid to destroy the evidence.
Maasarwe was an international student from Israel studying at the University of La Trobe.
She was walking home from a gig just after midnight on January 16 this year when she was attacked.
She had been on FaceTime to her sister, who heard the first part of the attack unfold.
Maasarwe's body was found early the following morning near her accommodation in the suburb of Bundoora.
She and Herrmann did not know each other, but he was scene outside her apartment building on two occasions in September 2018.
During a plea hearing at Victoria Supreme Court today, Herrmann passed his lawyer a note addressed to Maasarwe's family, who had travelled to Australia for the hearing from their native Israel.
“I’m sorry, your daughter didn’t deserve such a terrible and tragic thing to happen to her,” it read.
“I don’t expect any forgiveness as I will never be able to forgive myself and I will be trying to make amends for the rest of my life.
“There is no excuse. I truly apologise.
"I will pray for you and your family every day.
"Don’t give in to hate like I did.
'I'VE HAD WAKING DREAMS'
The court has heard that Herrmann has a severe personality disorder and a history of drug abuse.
Just two days before killing Maasarwe, he told a friend he had been having vivid waking dreams.
“Bro, I just had like five psychoses,” he said.
“I saw a murder in my head.”
He has entered guilty pleas to one charge of rape and another of murder.
He faces a maximum sentence of life for murder and 25 years for rape.
Maasarwe's father, Saeed Maasarwe, had sought to have the hearings delayed to allow him and other family members to travel to Australia from Israel, but the request was declined.
He now plans to make the journey in order to attend Herrmann's sentencing, scheduled for October 29.
"I should be there, I must be there," he said.
"It’s very important for me.
"I should talk with that judge and talk with that court."
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