A 25-year-old who unintentionally killed his teenage brother during an argument has been told by a judge not to let his remorse ruin the rest of his life.
Justice Michael Corboy told Adam Nicholas Dennis while sentencing him for the manslaughter of his brother Alex that what was done could not be undone and he would need to find the strength to overcome his sense of guilt for the sake of his family as well as himself.
The words of encouragement came in the Supreme Court where Dennis admitted killing his brother when he struck out at him with a scissor blade as his 18-year-old sibling punched him at their Noranda home in August last year.
He had only struck out once but the blade had fatally penetrated his brother's chest and heart.
The court had heard that Dennis was devastated by what happened and had tried to save his brother but was so distressed he had been told to leave by his mother who took over.
Today, Justice Corboy said he accepted Dennis' shame and remorse.
"You are not just remorseful for what has occurred but you are devastated by the loss of your brother," the judge said.
Justice Corboy also noted Dennis' good prospects of rehabilitation but said there were three areas he would need to work on to help his future.
These were the emotional scar he now had as a result of his own actions, his tendency to impulsively lash out, and his past use of drugs to cope with situations.
Justice Corboy said that despite the young man's remorse and his supportive family's belief that he had been punished enough, it was too serious a crime to warrant a suspended jail term.
"The life of another has been lost through a criminal act," he said.
He sentenced Dennis to four years jail, backdated to the time of the offence, and made him eligible for parole meaning he can apply for release next August.
The sentence was met with sobs from Dennis' family who have supported him while grieving the loss of his brother.
Justice Corboy told Dennis after handing down the jail term that while he would likely punish himself for the rest of his life it was important he try to resolve his sense of guilt so it would not destroy his future and his family.