A West Australian Supreme Court judge has been asked to consider imposing a suspended sentence on a 25-year-old man who fatally stabbed his brother in the chest during an argument.
Adam Nicholas Dennis has admitted killing his 18-year-old brother Alex at their family home on August 2 last year.
While the brothers often squabbled, sometimes physically, Alex was in a particularly bad mood that morning, suffering the effects of a cold and methamphetamine use.
According to defence lawyer Laurie Levy, Adam, who also had a cold, annoyed Alex by cutting up marijuana in the bathroom, but the younger brother took it out on his mother Jacqueline.
Adam took exception to this when he walked out of the bathroom and was then punched twice in the back of the head by Alex.
Still carrying scissors in his hand, Adam swung around to hit his brother, stabbing him in the heart.
But the state argues a different version of events, claiming the accused picked up the scissors from the kitchen and took two steps back after he was punched, raising the question of whether the manslaughter was intentional or premeditated.
Mr Levy said his client did not deliberately arm himself for the purpose of self defence.
The state rejected any suggestion that Adam’s actions had a degree of reflexivity, although it accepted he was somewhat provoked.
Mr Levy called for a suspended jail term, citing the accused’s intense remorse and guilty plea.
While the state says it is not an exceptional case deserving a suspended sentence, Justice Edwin Michael Corboy said there were aspects of it that were exceptional, and that there were few similar cases that could provide a clear guide for sentencing.
The court was packed with supporters and family members, with one saying “chin up, brother” before the accused was remanded in custody.
Sentencing is scheduled for December 16.