Samurai sword death: Man pleads guilty to manslaughter
TYRONE Baynton, 29, was killed in a home robbery when a samurai sword was stabbed through his door and into his neck.
Jeremy Kenneth Abell, 26, pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court in Mackay to the manslaughter of Mr Baynton and to burglary and armed robbery.
Abell will be eligible for parole in June next year.
Mala Owen Geissler and Joshua Don Wales are facing murder, burglary and armed robbery charges in relation to Mr Baynton's death.
Crown prosecutor Nigel Rees said that on October 11, 2015, Abell and two others drove to Mr Baynton's home, intending to rob him of money or drugs.
He said Mr Geissler had been armed with a samurai sword and Mr Wales armed with a pool cue.
Mr Rees said the group had arrived at Mr Baynton's North Mackay home at 6.03pm, wearing makeshift balaclavas.
The group allegedly knocked on the door, Mr Baynton opened it slightly and then slammed it.
Mr Rees said the group then tried to break in. Abell had kicked the door at least once. Mr Geissler then allegedly said "Hey ****" and stabbed the samurai sword through the door.
Mr Rees said the blade delivered a "deep wound" to Mr Baynton's neck, which penetrated his lung.
The door fell away and Mr Geissler and Mr Wales allegedly entered.
Abell didn't go inside in case Mr Baynton recognised his voice.
Mr Rees said previously Abell had bought marijuana from Mr Baynton.
While Abell's friends were allegedly inside the unit, Abell saw a neighbour nearby and put his finger to his mouth to quieten her.
Mr Rees said Mr Geissler and Mr Wales had confronted Mr Baynton's friend in the house and struck him with a pool cue. They then allegedly stole marijuana, ran to Mr Wales' car and the three left the scene.
Paramedics arrived but were unable to stop Mr Baynton's bleeding. He died at 6.45pm at the scene.
Mr Rees said the group had gone to the Andergrove boat ramp and disposed of the sword.
Justice James Henry said the alleged co-offenders had been on marijuana and ice at the time of the offending. He said that following the incident, the three had divided the marijuana stolen from Mr Baynton's home.
Defence barrister Jacob John said Abell had noticed blood on the samurai sword when he was leaving the unit, and had not realised the "seriousness" of what had occurred until after he returned to the car.
Mr John said Abell's criminal history reflected his issues with drugs and that he'd started using ice three or four weeks prior to the death.
Mr John provided a reference from Abell's employer at a tiling business, saying he would be offered work there in the future.
He said Abell felt guilt and had thought about his responsibility in the death every day since.
Abell was sentenced to five years in jail. He has already served 352 days and will be eligible for parole on June 28, 2017.
Family's heartache for 'fun-loving' son
TYRONE Baynton's parents were waiting for their son to visit for dinner on the night of October 11, 2015. He never came.
Mr Baynton's mother, Dianne Baynton, read her victim statement aloud in the Supreme Court during Abell's sentence.
"He was late so I called his phone to see what time he was coming, but each time I called his phone it was turned off," she said.
Mrs Baynton then received a call saying her son had passed away. She drove to his North Mackay home and police confirmed the news. The family had "never been the same".
Mrs Baynton said her son was a "fun-loving" person who had a special bond with his nieces and nephews.
"There are days when we cannot bring ourselves to get out of bed to start another day," she said.
Mr Baynton's death had had a "deep, devastating" death on his two siblings, as well as the rest of his family and friends, she said.
Abell's history of offending
AT the time of the home invasion Abell was on a suspended sentence.
Justice James Henry said that in his late teens, Abell had been convicted of some minor offending.
In May 2013, he had been placed on probation for entering a premises with intent to commit an offence. He breached that order and was given a wholly suspended sentence in January 2014.
Abell confessed and helped police to find samurai sword
IN sentencing, Justice Henry gave much weight to Abell's co-operation with police.
Mr Rees said that on October 28, 2015, (Abell's 26th birthday) Abell had been interviewed by police.
He admitted his involvement, gave evidence about his alleged co-offenders and helped police find the samurai sword.
Justice Henry said one of Abell's alleged co-offender had been identified by CCTV in the vicinity. However, without Abell's confession, at that time, police would not have had enough evidence to prosecute him.
The judge noted that he couldn't predict what would have been unearthed if a police investigation had continued without Abell's confession.