Jamie Douglas Saxon could have walked away from an altercation with a drunk “practically naked” German backpacker, but instead he stabbed the 30-year-old at least three times with a fishing knife.
Saxon first encountered Dominik Schulze – who was in Australia on a working holiday – on an inner-city Brisbane road in the early hours of October 6, 2017.
Mr Schulze was skylarking with a friend after a night of drinking. He was on the road, with his pants down and his genitals exposed.
Saxon was going to fetch his parents from a train station when the car driven by his fiancee accidentally knocked Mr Schulze about 3.45am.
The backpacker was not seriously injured, but “immediately aggressive” when approached by Saxon, a Brisbane court has heard.
Mr Schulze threw punches at Saxon that didn’t connect, taunting him to “have a go”.
“From his conduct, it is clear – to the extent that his intoxicated mind was operating – he wanted to fight you and was seeking to antagonise you and draw you into the fight,” Brisbane Supreme Court Justice Thomas Bradley told Saxon on Thursday.
Saxon later told police he was concerned for himself and his fiancee, who was pushed by Mr Schulze’s friend.
“The continuation and escalation of the encounter could have been avoided by you leaving the scene,” Justice Bradley said.
But instead Saxon got a 29cm black-handled fishing knife with a 15cm blade he admitted he kept for protection from his car.
“You must have intended to use it in some way or circumstance, even if only to scare your attackers,” Justice Bradley added.
Saxon later told police he should have grabbed a phone, not a knife.
The now 37-year-old moved towards Mr Schultze holding the knife in front of him, but the other man goaded him to have a fight unarmed.
Saxon continued to dodge Mr Schultze’s blows, but two struck him, causing ringing in his head.
The two men were standing close with the younger man standing over the top because he was significantly taller when “it clicked”.
“That’s when the fight really started happening,” Saxon told police.
“He’s put me up against the back of the car and I reacted, that was it, flipped the switch, schized out, reacted, defended myself.”
Saxon stabbed Mr Schulze at least three times, leaving him with injuries so bad “intestines were protruding from his stomach”.
Mr Schulze was “the attacker” but unarmed and practically naked when first encountered by Saxon, Justice Bradley said.
“You chose to arm yourself with the knife and you stabbed him in the chest and abdomen with it and in doing so you took his life,” he told Saxon in handing down his sentence.
Saxon left with his fiancee in their vehicle – telling her he had only punched Mr Schulze – before emergency services arrived.
He later learned from police the backpacker had been rushed to hospital but died before midday.
Justice Bradley found Saxon had “genuine remorse for his actions”, but the public required protection from him for a considerable period.
“The protection of the public and the adequate punishment of the crime in this case will require that you spend a longer period in actual custody than would be necessary
were your offence less weaponised and less vicious,” he said.
Saxon was sentenced to eight years behind bars after admitting manslaughter.
He was declared a serious violent offender and will have to serve at least 80 per cent of his jail term.
Saxon was first found guilty of murder by a jury in 2019 and sentenced to life behind bars after his first offer to plead guilty to manslaughter was rejected.
But the conviction was quashed and a retrial ordered when the Queensland Court of Appeal last year found the jury had been given a document containing an error.