A Melbourne man found guilty of bashing his gay flatmate to death has been sentenced to 18 years jail, The Age has reported today.

Aaron James Johnstone, 29, was found guilty of murder for attacking his openly gay flatmate Phillip Higgins, 46, with an eight-kilogram platypus statue.

Johnstone claimed he had “lost his temper” when Higgins had allegedly propositioned him.
The Age report said Johnstone had punched Higgins and kicked his head “like a football” until he bled profusely.

Justice Robert Osborn said the attack was a “savage betrayal of [Higgins’] trust and generosity”.

Johnstone had pleaded not guilty to murdering Higgins, however, a jury took a day to find him guilty in a retrial of the case.

Johnstone had earlier been found guilty and given an 18-year sentence for the crime.

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