No genuine remorse from killer bodybuilder

Sven Lindemann (left) arrives at the Supreme Court of Victoria in Melbourne on Friday, 3 May, 2024. Picture: AAP Image/Diego Fedele

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

An Endeavour Hills bodybuilder has been jailed for up to 31 years for viciously murdering his partner and wounding her 10-year-old daughter who heroically leapt to her defence.

Motivated by “jealousy, rage and a sense of entitlement”, Sven Lindemann repeatedly stabbed Monique Lezsak in their home in Kassan Gardens, Endeavour Hills on 30 May 2023.

Days before, Ms Lezsak had told him she wanted to end their relationship.

Victorian Supreme Court judge Elizabeth Hollingworth said on 22 May that the final “catalyst” seemed to be a “jealous” Lindemann overhearing Ms Lezsak talking to another man.

Lindemann yelled “You’ve ruined my life” as he repeatedly attacked the victim for about three minutes in a “frenzied” fashion in front of the victim’s family.

Lindemann wielded six knives, breaking two due to the force of his attacks.

Ms Lezsak’s daughter Lily – not her real name – was “unbelievably brave” in trying to intervene by kicking him and wrestling a knife off him.

The victim’s frail mother – who suffers Parkinson’s disease – also bravely tried to defend her.

Lindemann persistently attacked, even as Lily got between him and her mother.

As a result, Lily suffered cuts to her hands, elbow and shoulder. Stitches were required for three of her wounds.

“Given your relative sizes and strength, and the persistent and frenzied nature of your stabbing movements, it is only by sheer luck that Lily was not more seriously injured,” Justice Hollingworth said.

“This was not a momentary loss of self-control. You were clearly determined to kill Ms Lezsak.”

Lindemann retreated to the bedroom without showing the “slightest concern” for the dying Ms Lezsak or the distraught, injured Lily.

A minute later in a “calculated” move, he transferred $71,000 from one of his bank accounts to another account out of concern for his or for his children’s finances.

Emergency services found a naked Lindemann in the bedroom. He had self-inflicted stab wounds to his chest and abdomen and required emergency surgery.

Justice Hollingworth noted that Lindemann continued to blame Ms Lezsak for ruining his life.

His own offending was motivated by jealousy and being unwilling for his partner to allow her to move on.

“You had cheated on your own wife, and eventually left your wife and children to be with Ms Lezsak.

“However, your hypocrisy and sense of entitlement were such that you became enraged by the thought that Ms Lezsak might choose to leave you and start a relationship with someone she had recently met.”

Justice Hollingworth noted the overwhelming trauma inflicted upon Lily.

“What she did to try to save her mother was unbelievably brave; it was more than most adults would have been able to do in such terrifying circumstances.

“Hopefully, as she grows up, Lily will come to understand that there was nothing more that she could have done to save her mother, who would have been so very proud of Lily’s courage and determination.”

Ms Lezsak was clearly a “kind, caring and loving” mother, daughter and friend and a talented, healthy bodybuilder who was greatly missed.

The German-born Lindemann, who illegally took growth hormones and steroids to assist his bodybuilding, had no diagnosed mental illness.

His actions were due to a “situational crisis”, fueled by his underlying personality, attitudes to women and Ms Lezsak, and his likely abuse of steroids, a clinical psychologist told the court.

He had no prior criminal convictions. His early guilty pleas were noted.

However, Justice Hollingworth didn’t accept Lindemann was “genuinely remorseful”. He lacked insight and didn’t express “any real empathy” for Ms Lezsak’s family, friends and children.

It was possible that Lindemann would need to remain in protective custody during some of his jail term.

He was jailed for up to 31 years, and eligible for parole in 25 years. His term includes 358 days already served in pre-sentence custody.