Graham Shawn Cleary, 58, was sentenced to nine years in prison on Monday after pleading guilty to manslaughter over the stabbing death of 29-year-old Adam Davies in January 2019.
Mr Davies’ sister paused to look directly at Cleary as she told the court how losing her “little brother” and “best friend” had impacted her life and the lives of her family.
“He wasn’t even 30, he hadn’t even lived,” she said, listing the milestones Davies will miss as his daughter grows up.
She described her brother as “happy-go-lucky” and said something will always be missing from her family’s lives.
The two men found themselves in the same apartment on the morning of January 5 as Davies woke in the bedroom where he was asleep with his partner, and Cleary in the lounge with another man after he had been using drugs.
There was no prior negative association, no animosity and no obvious provocation between the pair, the court was told on Monday.
Cleary stabbed Davies once in the lower abdomen with a serrated knife he found in the apartment, and the victim was heard to say “why did you stab me” by a witness.
After leaving the apartment having being threatened by Davies’ partner, Cleary took the knife with him and “moved around Ipswich” before being picked up by the police later that morning.
Despite having “ample opportunity” to dispose of the weapon, he handed it over after being taken to the police station.
In sentencing, Justice Glenn Martin said Cleary “exhibited disbelief” upon hearing Davies had died in the hours after the stabbing.
In transcripts of calls to family members after his arrest, Cleary repeated the stabbing had been an accident and that he had been “set up”, but there was no evidence to suggest anything of the sort.
Delivering the nine-year jail term, Justice Martin said there was no sentence he could impose that would bring the deceased back, and that his family and friends will be affected forever.
Cleary was originally been charged with murder and has been in custody in the 1017 days since the offence.Jump to next article