Man guilty of murdering beekeeper for honey

A man's been found guilty of murdering a fellow beekeeper in Queensland so he could steal his honey.

Donald Robert Alcock, 34, was charged with shooting Anthony Ross Knight in the back as he slept at his home at Woodford in the Sunshine Coast hinterland in May 2007.

The Brisbane Supreme Court was told Alcock was in serious financial trouble when he went to Mr Knight's property to steal honey worth $40,000.

Alcock shot Mr Knight when he realised he couldn't steal the stock without waking him.

The jury took less than a day to find Alcock guilty of murder and the beekeeper will serve an automatic life sentence.

The court was told Alcock later confessed his deed, telling police: "If Tony was home I was going to have to maim him or hurt him bad if I was going to knock off the honey".

"I was only out to hurt him, I wasn't out to kill him," Alcock told officers.

"I thought (the bullet) would go straight through him actually."

Alcock, who lived in Tenterfield at the time, loaded the largest tubs of honey onto the back of his truck and drove them to a major honey distributor, the court was told.

But he became pinned under one of the 1,400kg tubs as he tried to unload it from the truck, prosecutors told the court.

Emergency services officers were called and Alcock was taken to hospital while police took photographs of the scene.

Those photos were Alcock's undoing, the court heard, because they showed special markings on the tubs that identified them as Mr Knight's property.

The court heard Alcock returned to Mr Knight's property after he was discharged from hospital later that day, and stole some remaining drums of honey.

Mr Knight's decomposed body was found on June 4 by a close friend, who reported it to police, the court was told.

Mr Boyle said an autopsy revealed the 41-year-old had been shot once in the back, and that a fragment of the bullet had exited from his neck, with the rest lodging in his spine.