Dwyer jailed for killing 'best' mate

"YOU beat a defenceless man to death."

This was how Justice Duncan McMeekin described the manslaughter of Jayde Biddulph, who was killed in a jailhouse fight with Ryan Edward Dwyer in December 2009.

Dwyer was sentenced for the manslaughter, along with a string of about 20 other charges, including burglaries and traffic offences in the Supreme Court in Rockhampton yesterday.

He was sentenced to 11 years in jail; two years and five months of which he has already served.

The two men, who were once best friends, fought over a woman when they ended up in the same walkway of the Capricorn Correctional Facility on December 16, 2009.

Witnesses described Dwyer punching Biddulph to the head several times after he was on the ground and had stopped moving.

Defence barrister Colin Reid said Dwyer had never intended to kill Biddulph.

"Dwyer simply didn't contemplate that he would kill a man who once was his best friend and that is something he will have to live with for the rest of his life," Mr Reid said.

Justice McMeekin described Dwyer as a "shocking criminal" who had spent most of his life in and out of correctional facilities and first came before the court on criminal charges when he was just 13 years old.

Justice McMeekin acknowledged that Dwyer had an addiction to drugs and had taken to stealing to fund his habit.

He said Dwyer, in a letter to the court, said he considered Biddulph a brother and had never wanted to hurt him, let alone kill him.

Though Justice McMeekin recognised that Dwyer had not intended to kill Biddulph, he appeared to have no respect for any laws, breaching statutes covering drugs, property, traffic and even prison regulations.

Dwyer was sentenced to nine years for manslaughter and two years for the other charges, to be served accumulatively.

Other Charges

Some of Dwyer's charges included:

Several counts of burglary by break, stealing and entering premises.

Traffic offences including speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol, failing to stop and driving without a licence.

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