Murderer sentenced for brutal claw hammer slaying
Nick Munn has been jailed for up to 27 years for the brutal murder of Jason Fry in 2018.
The 42-year-old was sentenced at the Supreme Court on Tuesday, with Justice John Champion setting a non-parole period of 21 years.
On April 9, 2018, Munn used a claw hammer to repeatedly strike his long-time friend to the back of the head while the victim was at home in North Shore.
He later concealed Mr Fry's body in a roll of carpet and tarpaulin, before placing it inside a vehicle he drove around Geelong's northern suburbs for several days.
The father of three's badly decomposed remains were discovered inside the car six days after his death, with Munn eventually arrested in Lara two days later.
Munn, a former horse podiatrist, was found guilty of the 41-year-old's murder after a trial in which he claimed he acted in self-defence after Mr Fry came at him with a knife.
However, during his sentencing remarks, Justice Champion rejected Munn's assertion that there was any provocation from the victim prior to his death.
"I accept … you attacked Mr Fry when he was unsuspecting and had his back to you," he said.
The sentencing judge said the murder was "brutal" and "vicious", with Munn using the hammer to strike Mr Fry up to 13 times to the head.
"You used a hammer to kill Mr Fry, a terrible weapon easily capable of causing major traumatic damage to a person's head," he said.
He said the attack was also spontaneous and committed in "explosive anger" spurred by Munn's belief the victim had gambled away $2500 that had been loaned to him to help pay a crippling rental debt.
"I am satisfied you killed your friend in the belief he had wasted money that you had loaned him," Justice Champion said.
He also described Munn's actions in the days after the victim's murder as "deplorable", pointing out that the killer's bid to hide the body had deprived Mr Fry's family of the opportunity to see his body and properly grieve.
"Your conduct lacked decency and humanity," Justice Champion said.
A series of victim impact statements were tendered to the court from Mr Fry's family, with relatives speaking of their ongoing distress following his death.
His mother expressed immense pain and anger at how Munn had taken her son's life for "almost nothing", the court heard.
Despite the claim of self defence, Justice Champion said he accepted Munn had shown signs of remorse for killing a man he had known since the pair were teenagers.
"I do accept you feel sorrow for the devastating consequences of your behavior," he said.
"I accept you regarded Mr Fry as your friend and you regret having killed him."
Given time already served in custody, Munn's earliest possible release date is in 2039.
Originally published as Geelong murderer sentenced for brutal claw hammer slaying