Killer who placed fruitcake on victim's head jailed for 24 years

A South Australian man who was stabbed and stomped to death had a fruitcake placed on his head as his killer sought to further demean him, a court has heard.

David Saunders, 59, was attacked at a home at Hayborough, south of Adelaide, in February last year, suffering at least six blows to the head and two stab wounds.

Leslie Kevin James Talbot, 51, was found guilty of murder, with Supreme Court Justice David Lovell imposing a 24-year non-parole period on Friday.

Justice Lovell described the attack as both vicious and prolonged and said by placing the fruitcake on Mr Saunders’ head, Talbot had added insult to his actions.

The stomping was so severe it fractured the victim’s skull.

South Australian father David Saunders  was attacked at a home at Hayborough, south of Adelaide, in February last year. 

“Mr Saunders was not a robust man…he was clearly no match for a person of your size and a person in your underlying anger,” the judge told Talbot in sentencing.

“Your behaviour on the day of the offending and leading up to the murder was belligerent, domineering and bullying.

“For reasons that are unknown you savagely and viciously attacked a man who had done you no harm.

“You then demeaned him by placing a fruitcake upon his head.”

Outside the court, the dead man’s family said they were happy with the sentence.


In a previous victim impact statement, Mr Saunders’ daughter Stephanie said her only feelings towards Talbot were anger and hate.

“You violently killed my dad, you stomped on him, you strangled him, you stabbed him and you beat him with objects from around the room,” she said.

“He lay motionless and you still continued to stomp and beat him, letting him bleed out from his ears with a fruitcake on his head.

“To add to that you sat back drinking, thinking you were a big man, boasting how you stomped on the c***.”

Talbot had admitted manslaughter before the trial, but his guilty plea was not accepted by the Crown.

Justice Lovell said no clear motive had been offered for the killing but Talbot had been drinking heavily on the day.

He also revealed Talbot had a 31-year criminal history, mostly for dishonesty and drug offences