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Man killed over work row

india Updated: Jun 23, 2006 18:21 IST
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The Brisbane Supreme Court sentenced a man to eight years in jail for beating his colleague to death with a cricket bat.

William John Swain, 34, died within minutes after Daniel Kling, 22, hit him on his head with a cricket bat following an argument over their roles in a house-cleaning business owned by the latter's father, according to the Daily Telegraph. The report did not say when the incident took place.

Justice John Helman sentenced Kling to eight years in jail, with a recommendation for parole after three years. He said that the force was so grossly disproportionate to any threat made, but pointed out that the crime did not warrant Kling being deemed a serious violent offender.

Crown lawyer David Meredith told the court that Swain and Kling had argued about their roles in the business, with the latter claiming that "he owned half the share of his father's business and could hence give orders".

Meredith said after Swain head-butted Kling, who responded with a punch to his neck, (Daniel Kling's father) Andrew Kling, who also owned the Morayfield home, ordered the pair to "sort their s*** out".

But after the argument had calmed down, an intoxicated Swain abused Andrew as he left the house. This prompted his son to follow Swain, he said.

Meredith said that after Swain said "let's go" and put his fists up, Kling whacked him across the left side of his head with the bat.

"It caused him to fall and die ... he died at the scene, not immediately but minutes later," he told the court.

Later, a post-mortem revealed Swain suffered severe facial and head injuries, including bleeding of the brain, said the paper.