A WINCHELSEA man will spend at least six years in jail after the Supreme Court found him guilty of killing another Winchelsea man.
Supreme Court judge John Dixon sentenced Matthew Wayne Drayton, 24, to nine years’ jail with a minimum of six years for fatally stabbing Rob Colenso, 57, at Mr Colenso’s home on March 15, 2013.
The jury found Mr Drayton not guilty of murder but guilty of the alternate charge of defensive homicide, which has a maximum jail term of 20 years.
Neither the prosecution nor the defence had argued for a defensive homicide verdict.
Judge Dixon said the decision meant the jury believed Mr Drayton intended to cause “really serious injury” to Mr Colenso, and that it was reasonably possible he believed he had to stab his friend in self-defence.
Mr Drayton had told investigators the stabbing happened after an argument about whether he and the victim should go to a neighbouring property to steal a marijuana plant.
“You found yourself on the floor with the deceased standing over you, pressing a pruning saw into your throat as he exclaimed that he was a warrior and intended to kill you,” Judge Dixon said before handing down his sentence.
“How the confrontation escalated so dramatically was never satisfactorily explained,” he said.
Mr Drayton told police he disarmed Mr Colenso and regained his feet before the deceased picked up a boning knife.
“You then took the knife from him and stabbed him with it in the left side of his chest,” Judge Dixon summarised.
“You then punched the deceased three times, as hard as you could, and left the unit,” he said.
The prosecution challenged Mr Drayton’s statement, saying the only saw investigators found in Mr Colenso’s unit was under the kitchen sink in its scabbard.
Analysis of the saw found no sign of Mr Drayton’s DNA and a doctor found no sign of injury to his neck.
Judge Dixon said Mr Drayton had “good prospects” of rehabilitation “bearing in mind your relative youth, the support you receive from your family and friends, and your attitude to work and managing your health difficulties”.