Samurai sword killer Blake Davis jailed

·3-min read

Hours after he was sentenced to five years' jail for a samurai sword manslaughter, the tears began flowing for Blake Davis.

The 31-year-old, who chased and struck ice-fueled armed robber Jett McKee in the head with a sword in Forest Lodge in August 2018, failed late on Tuesday to convince a judge he should be granted bail pending a conviction appeal.

The appeal is centred on the crown prosecutor's conduct at Davis's trial last year.

But, after hearing draft submissions, Justice Natalie Adams wasn't satisfied it had such a prospect of success that Davis could be released on bail immediately.

That decision - confirming Davis would leave the court in a prison truck - led Davis to place his head in his hands as his fiancee Hannah Quinn cried into the arms of family.

She stood and trembled moments later to blow a kiss to her partner as he was led down to the cells.

Justice Adams earlier jailed Davis for five years and three months, setting a non-parole period of two years and three months.

The judge described the incident as a "moderately serious case of excessive defence manslaughter".

Moments before his death, Mr McKee stormed into Davis' Forest Lodge unit and pointed a fake gun at the actor and Quinn, threatened the lives of their families and punched Davis in the face with knuckledusters when told there was no cash on the premises.

The felled Davis grabbed a display samurai sword nearby and followed the screaming Quinn, who pursued Mr McKee out the door.

When Quinn pulled Mr McKee to the ground, Davis sliced Mr McKee's head open.

Consistent with that verdict, Justice Adams said she was not satisfied Mr McKee was pointing the gun at Quinn at the time Davis dealt the fatal blow.

She sentenced Davis on the basis he "somehow misread the situation" about the threat Mr McKee posed to Quinn, not that he was a vigilante.

"He was suffering fear and trauma given that he had just had his home invaded by a masked man wielding a gun and was terrified as to what had happened to his girlfriend," she said.

"It would clearly have been a very traumatic event."

But that trauma didn't adequately explain his hiding of evidence and taking things of value from his home, she found.

Justice Adams also wasn't satisfied he'd shown remorse for manslaughter.

"He regrets killing Mr McKee but denies killing him unlawfully," the judge said.

Davis and Quinn were at the time selling cannabis, though disputed prosecutors' suggestions that $23,000 in cash in the unit was primarily crime proceeds.

In the lead-up to his death, Mr McKee attempted to rob several drug dealers to help pay gambling debts.

Mr McKee's grieving partner Averil Bowers told the court of his efforts to get help for his gambling addiction and decried the lack of government help for gamblers.

She said her son, born after his father's homicide, carries the same "light" as Jett and has his father's hair, confidence, charm and wit.

Joe McKee didn't condone his son's offending but lamented his right to a trial, and that future family events will always be diminished by the loss of his only son.

Lynn McKee likened the heart-broken sorrow for her son to being permanently winded and devoid of hope.

Justice Adams said: "I am left with no doubt that the lives of both the McKee family and the Davis family have been shattered forever as a result of the events that occurred in Hereford Street, Forest Lodge on 10 August 2018."

Davis was granted a 25 per cent discount for an offer to plead guilty to manslaughter in 2019 and granted a shorter non-parole period in light of mental health issues.

He will be eligible for parole in August 2023, after serving some time on remand.

No date has been set for the appeal hearing.

Quinn, who was found guilty at trial of being an accessory after the manslaughter, will be sentenced in April.