Anzac Day will be tainted forever for the mother of a former soldier who was stabbed to death on a Queensland road after a fight escalated.
Lee Matthew Hillier, 42, was originally charged with murder over the death of father-of-three Nathan Frazer in 2018, but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter on Friday.
Mr Frazer’s family were present in court to see Hillier sentenced in the Brisbane Supreme Court, and there were tears as they detailed the impact of his death.
“My life will never be the same again, I will never be the same again,” his mother told the court.
Mr Frazer was described as a gentle person who was respected and well liked by his “fellow diggers”, in victim impact statements.
The two men were known to each other before the altercation, but there was little evidence to explain what started the fight at Murrumba Downs, north of Brisbane, on July 12, 2018.
They had been seated in the back seat of a parked car together and other witnesses could not explain the hostility.
Hillier’s version suggested Mr Frazer, who he considered a friend, became argumentative and was not making sense before blows were exchanged.
Their relationship involved drug use and Hillier has been using meth daily.
The knife was taken from a bag of cutlery that was in the car and was grabbed in response to the assault, the court was told.
The prosecution did not contest Hillier’s story, and Justice Elizabeth Wilson sentenced him on the basis that the stabbing was an “overreaction” to a fight that Mr Frazer had started.
He suffered two stab wounds during the altercation, one of which caused a collapsed lung, while his killer fled unscathed.
He died at the scene and Hillier was arrested hours later following a four-hour siege after he barricaded himself inside a hotel room in Carseldine in Brisbane’s north.
Five years earlier he was involved in another stand-off with police after he produced a gun in the Queen Street Mall and caused a “major part” of the city to be closed down.
Hillier pleaded guilty to manslaughter and a summary charge of stealing over a number pate theft, and was sentenced to 10 years’ jail.
Three years and five months of pre-sentence custody was declared as time served, and an activated suspended sentence will be served concurrently,