Man jailed for 'vicious' bashing after drunken betrayal

A man has been jailed for nine years after a drunken argument over sex led to a fatal bashing on an island with 400 residents.

A Brisbane Supreme Court jury on Wednesday found Paul Anthony Quinlan, 59, not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter over the death of Scott Pilton on May 16, 2020.

The 48-year-old died in hospital from acute bleeding on the brain just over a day after he was fatally punched by Quinlan on Lamb Island, north of Brisbane.

Jurors deliberated for more than six hours before returning with their verdict.

Mr Pilton's former wife Kathleen Turnbull cried out "no" when the not guilty verdict was read out for the murder charge.

Justice Peter Davis told the jury he knew their duty would have asked a lot of them and their verdict of manslaughter was reasonable.

The jury heard earlier in the seven-day trial the two men had been drinking at the home of Quinlan's girlfriend, Kimberley Lunt, on May 14.

In sentencing, Justice Davis said he found it more likely than not that Quinlan had later found Mr Pilton in bed with Ms Lunt.

"That would be consistent with the blood found in the bedroom and Mr Pilton being found naked by ambulance officers," Justice Davis said.

Quinlan had used "substantially forceful" punches to cause Mr Pilton fractured facial bones and ribs along with the subdural hematoma brain injury that would end his life, Justice Davis said.

"The victim impact statements speak of complete devastation and legitimate outrage that you drank until you were completely and totally intoxicated then lost your temper and simply beat this man to death," he said.

Mr Pilton's sister told the court she had been working in the UK when he was fatally attacked and had to say goodbye to him via a video screen.

"I never got to hear his voice again. I never got to tell him I loved him and know that he heard me," she said.

"That final video call was a cold and inadequate substitute for the farewell that we deserved."

Quinlan described himself as a long-term alcoholic and had lost some of his ability to work after suffering a stroke in 2018, defence barrister Tim Ryan said.

Crown prosecutor Michael Lehane called for a sentence of nine to 11 years due to the minimal provocation involved and Quinlan's long history of committing assaults while under the influence of alcohol.

Mr Pilton had at most provided mild verbal provocation after being spotted in bed and Quinlan simply flew into a rage but was unable to form intent to kill due to his high level of intoxication, Justice Davis said.

"The assault was a vicious one," he said.

Quinlan was sentenced to nine years' imprisonment and will be eligible to apply for parole in May 2026.

By that point, he would have served six years including time behind bars on remand.