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Man jailed for 22 years after murdering stranger over noise of kids playing

Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth on Friday sentenced Strucelj to 22 years behind bars and ordered he serve at least 18 before he’s eligible for parole.

Strucelj was found guilty of murder last year, after failing to convince the jury he was acting in self-defence.

He’d gone to his neighbour’s house in the early hours of the morning after hearing screams and shouts coming from a nearby property.

He called his friend, claiming he believed it sounded like a woman in trouble, but was told it was some neighbourhood children going for a swim.

Justice Hollingworth said the phone call should have put him at ease, but for some reason Strucelj felt the need to cycle over to the neighbour’s house and confront them.

She said it was clear he intended some sort of confrontation.

He picked up the large knife off a boat in the carport, claiming he did it in case someone reacted badly to his presence at the home.

Strucelj was aggressive from the beginning, the judge said.

“What do you think is going to happen now,” Mr Doyle asked Strucelj.

Strucelj, 48, said Mr Doyle threw an uppercut punch at him and he had thrown a punch back with the knife in his hand.

He argued the 33-year-old victim had tried to karate kick him after he was stabbed, but Justice Hollingworth said Strucelj presumably came up with the kick to bolster his self-defence claim.

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Immediately after the stabbing, Strucelj ran to a friend’s house and asked him to call the police. He then went home, got in his spa and started drinking.

He has not shown remorse for his actions and continues to blame others, including Mr Doyle, for what happened.

The court heard Mr Doyle was a respectful, loyal man who had moved to the Strathmerton area after the death of his grandfather to help and care for his grandmother.

Strucelj has a history of mental health problems, alcohol and drug abuse and problem gambling.

He has previously spent time in prison, including after a 1997 crash that killed his best friend.

AAP

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