A Sydney tradie who stabbed to death his friend after becoming jealous of him and his ex-partner has been jailed for at least 15 years and nine months.
Nathan Chatimba, 34, was found guilty by jury of murdering Peni "Ben" Apikotoa, who bled to death on a St Clair home doorstep in western Sydney in August 2018, following six stab wounds.
Chatimba had not intended to kill his scaffolding colleague and friend "Benny", but did want to inflict serious bodily harm, Justice Robertson Wright said in the NSW Supreme Court on Friday.
That evening Chatimba had been visiting his ex-partner Cassie Sanders, when Mr Apikotoa, who had been drinking at a nearby pub, called her mobile phone.
This caused Chatimba to become jealous, and a number of "angry telephone calls and attempts" followed, Justice Wright said.
Mr Apikotoa told friends nearby that he "believed a female was in trouble and getting beaten up," and asked to be driven over, having previously intervened in similar circumstances, the court was told.
"He was coming to protect her," the judge said.
Chatimba later told police he picked up a knife off a pile of rubbish near the house, held it "in a defensive pose hoping to ward off" Mr Apikotoa but "to his surprise" the man kept advancing in a "menacing fashion".
However, a neighbour gave evidence that he saw the offender "charging" at a man in fluoro who was running backwards with his hands up defensively.
His blood trailed around wheelie bins towards a nearby home where an ambulance was called, while Chatimba also asked someone to call emergency services.
The judge accepted Chatimba had come to appreciate what he had done but did not render any other assistance to his dying friend.
His defence submitted that Chatimba had been provoked by Mr Apikotoa's words to the effect "do you want to have a go," or "have a crack" but the judge dismissed any provocation occurred.
Chatimba's intention to hurt was impulsive, not well thought out and happened over a relatively short period of time, the judge said.
Mr Apikotoa was described as a beautiful son and brother, open, gentle, supportive and loyal, and ready to assist someone in need.
His unnecessary death in such distressing circumstances had devastated his family.
The pair had been friends for some years with Mr Apikotoa assisting Chatimba with work in the scaffolding industry.
The Zimbabwean-born Chatimba had experienced a traumatic childhood and suffered from PTSD, the court was told.
He displayed genuine remorse in letters written to the court and his former friend's family in which he expresses in "heartfelt terms of sorrow," about the pain and suffering he has caused.
"It was and still is a regrettable day, for I relive it in my dreams. I struggle to go by daily thinking of what I could have done different," one letter read.
"I just wish I can go back and change things. My mate would still be here. His family wouldn't be in the room with me like this."
Justice Wright sentenced Chatimba to a maximum term of 21 years in prison. He will first be eligible for parole on May 10, 2034.