Jail for grisly killing of drinking chum

Darcy Luke McNamara has been jailed for 20 years after he pleaded guilty to murdering Nathan Day.
Darcy Luke McNamara has been jailed for 20 years after he pleaded guilty to murdering Nathan Day.

In the front bedroom of his drinking chum's home, Nathan Day met a tragic and grisly end.

His throat was cut with a sharp implement on the winter night in Wangaratta in July 2018.

Mr Day, 35, bled out and died in front of his killer, Darcy Luke McNamara.

He was buried in a shallow grave in McNamara's backyard, his body partially covered in rubbish.

It was carried out "with little ceremony and even less dignity - though McNamara did say a prayer for him", Victorian Supreme Court Justice Michael Croucher said on Thursday.

McNamara has been jailed for 20 years after he pleaded guilty to murdering the man known to friends as Pockets.

Police visited the home multiple times in the six weeks before the body was discovered, responding to issues between McNamara and the man who helped him cover up the killing, Phillip Dunn.

Officers had driven past on the night of the murder, after neighbours reported screams.

Someone - it's unclear which of the trio - had shouted "I'm going to kill you, you're nothing but dogs, I don't give a f*** what happens to me ... I'm going to get you."

McNamara had threatened to kill Mr Day, but the victim replied that McNamara didn't have the guts.

Mr Day is survived by an eight-year-old son, who family said had inherited his cheeky smile.

Dunn, who pleaded guilty to helping cover up the crime, will be sentenced next week.

He was the one who spilled the beans to police, during a drunken encounter with officers, about what had happened.

Dunn had claimed he witnessed a sex act between McNamara and Mr Day.

McNamara claimed he woke up with his pants unbuttoned and both Dunn and Mr Day in his bedroom, fighting and breaking things.

Mr Day's throat was cut with a knife and his body was found weeks later buried in McNamara's backyard.

Cleaning supplies used to clean up massive blood stains were still in the room when police searched it.

A quirk in laws about evidence admissibility mean that while McNamara is sentenced for murder on the basis that either one of them could have murdered Mr Day, Dunn will be sentenced on the basis McNamara alone was the killer.

In a pre-sentence hearing for Dunn Justice Croucher had noted that while that might seem odd to the rest of the world "that's just the law".

The judge pointed out competing factors in reaching his sentence. While McNamara has a history of violent crimes, he also had a deprived childhood.

His upbringing was awash with violence and alcohol. His father took his life when he was nine and his Aboriginal heritage was considered a "family secret" because of perceived stigma.

He must serve at least 14 years before he's eligible for parole.

Australian Associated Press