A MANGERTON man, who fatally stabbed his neighbour in the back with a kitchen knife, has lost a bid to have his 24-year jail term reduced.
Reece Leonard Beldon was sentenced in the NSW Supreme Court sitting in Wollongong last year after he pleaded guilty to murdering his neighbour, stabbing the man when a dispute over drugs turned violent.
The 36-year-old was ordered to serve a minimum 16 years behind bars and a further eight years on parole.
Beldon appealed against the lengthy term, claiming a less severe sentence was warranted.
The Court of Criminal Appeal dismissed Beldon's appeal earlier this month, finding his sentence was not excessive or unjust.
Beldon and the victim had been injecting Oxycontin and taking Valium in Beldon's apartment on November 28, 2008, when an argument broke out.
The victim accused Beldon of stealing the remaining drugs and demanded Beldon hand over his own stash of Oxycontin.
Beldon then took a kitchen knife and slashed the victim's cheek before he stabbed the man in the back.
Ambulance officers and police arrived a short time later but the man was dead.
Sentencing Beldon last year, Justice Graham Barr accepted that Beldon did not intend to kill the man, only seriously harm him, and that he had a long history of drug abuse and mental instability.
The court heard Beldon had been abusing prescription drugs at the time of the murder and "could not think straight".
Justice Barr accepted Beldon's mental illness slightly lessened the case for a deterrent sentence, but argued there was a greater need to protect the public.
Dismissing Beldon's appeal, Justice Peter Johnson, on behalf of the court, said Beldon's criminal history did not assist him and noted the man had not demonstrated any contrition for the murder beyond his guilty plea.
"It is a sad but practical reality that Beldon had almost nothing operating in his favour subjectively on sentence," he said.
Defence barrister Peter Hamill, SC, had argued Beldon's sentence should be reduced because the offence was not premeditated.
He also made reference to Beldon's personal circumstances and his plea.
The court was told Beldon had received a substantial overall sentence with a non-parole period, which "provided the applicant with a significant opportunity for release on parole".