Imprisonment for man who murdered Good Samaritan
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Imprisonment for man who murdered Good Samaritan

An NSW man dumped by his partner has been sentenced to prison for killing an armed Good Samaritan who tried to help her.

Paul Newburn fatally stabbed Glen Smith with a knife taped to the end of a curtain pole after his victim stabbed him with a golf club with a missing head.

He pleaded guilty in the Newcastle Supreme Court to the manslaughter of Mr. Smith, based on excessive self-defense, on January 20, 2019, in Bolton Point, Lake Macquarie.

Jail cut for man who killed good Samaritan | 7NEWS

The 34-year-old was sentenced to nine years in prison in December 2020 with an unconditional period of five and nine months.

The NSW Court of Criminal Appeal on Wednesday reduced his term to seven years and six months, with a non-parole period of four years and six months.

It found the sentencing judge made a mistake in assessing the seriousness of the crime by failing to take into account Newburn’s perception of the threat he was facing at the time.

“The events leading up to the confrontation between the applicant and the deceased were only relevant insofar as they gave context to the actual crime,” the court said.

But those events were “integral to and formed the basis” of her assessment of the seriousness of the offense as “objectively serious.”

On January 20, Lisa Walker, Newburn’s partner, told him she wanted to end their relationship, and after an argument, she left their house without taking any property with her.

After a public altercation, nearby neighbors yelled at Newburn to leave her alone, and she was escorted to Mr. Smith’s home for protection.

Newburn arrived at the house an hour later to talk to Mrs. Walker but instead got into an argument with Mr. Smith, who was overheard and threatened to beat him up.

Shortly afterward, Mrs. Walker and a neighbor showed up at Newburn’s house when the couple argued before Mr. Smith, who had been drinking, poked the golf club shaft through the screen door.

He smashed potted plants in the front before Newburn armed himself with the homemade spear and confronted and prodded Mr. Smith outside.

When Newburn stabbed Mr. Smith in the upper right thigh, he yelled, “You got me in the nuts, you f***en dog c***”.

Mr. Smith then attempted to stab Newburn with the golf club shaft but avoided the blow before stabbing the victim in the left side of the chest and penetrating his heart through the fifth rib.

Newburn’s attorneys argued that his perception of the situation included the fact that Mr. Smith was armed, had just attempted to beat him, and that his aggression was not contained after being stabbed in the thigh.

The appeals court noted the evidence from Newburn that he had been afraid.

He said he feared people outside the house would get in by breaking the door before fighting Mr. Smith outside, eventually inflicting the fatal injury.

“There is no doubt, and the applicant accepted his plea, that that was not a reasonable response in the position he was in,” the court said.

But given his fear and perceived threat and the judge’s finding that he had no intention of killing Mr. Smith, she was not open to finding that his response “was much greater than a reasonable response”.

In re-convicting Newburn, the court noted his remorse and his significant steps in tackling his longstanding drug addiction.