Benjamin Milward has been sentenced to life in prison over the brutal death of French student Sophie Collombet.

Milward, 28, was sentenced to a non-parole period of 20 years for the random and horrific attack on the 21-year- old as she walked home from university on the night of March 27, 2014.

He raped the French student and left her for dead in a Brisbane park.

Collombet's family flew from France to watch the sentencing of Milward, who pleaded guilty earlier this month.


Emotional victim impact statements from the family were read to the court in French and English.

A statement written by Collombet's partner, who left Brisbane six weeks before she was attacked after his visa ran out, was harrowing as he detailed his nights were haunted by nightmares.

"(I am) trying to rebuild my life on a field of ruins," he wrote.

Collombet's father wrote that "nothing can fill the void" left by Collombet's death.

Supreme Court Justice Ann Lyons' sentencing remarks were filmed for the first time in Queensland history.

Justice Lyons' words were emotionally charged as she handed down the mandatory 20-year sentence for murder.

"She died not far from this courthouse, I can see the spot from my room," she said.

"Your actions simply defy belief.

"By your actions, a beautiful young woman is dead."

- additional reporting AAP