A GAMBLING addict who bludgeoned his only real friend to death then “desecrated his body in the most horrific way” has been jailed for at least 22 years over his disturbing crimes.
Having racked up a $20,000 debt, David John Napier decided he could solve his money woes by killing his friend Richard Andrews and plundering the 70-year-old’s finances.
The pair was at Mr Andrews’ Calista home in August last year when Napier approached his unsuspecting friend from behind and repeatedly smashed him over the head with a hammer.
Napier, then 52, went back to the house the next day and used a hacksaw and an axe to dismember Mr Andrews and disfigure his face so he could not be identified.
He then doused the remains with bleach to mask the smell and stored them in his shed before dumping them in Gidgegannup and Dwellingup.
The addict created an “elaborate fiction” to explain his friend’s absence as he emptied the man’s bank accounts in the weeks that followed.
Supreme Court Justice Bruno Fiannaca jailed Napier for life with a minimum of 22 years today, saying he had transformed from a mild mannered man into “someone capable of monstrous behaviour”.
“To ordinary, decent members of the community your crimes will defy comprehension,” Justice Fiannaca said.
“You killed him because you were desperate for money as a result of your reckless gambling.
“You denied him dignity in death.”
Napier was a socially isolated man but had been friends with Mr Andrews for about a decade.
He had previously borrowed a substantial sum of money from the older man, who showed him nothing but kindness throughout their friendship.
Napier claimed he murdered Mr Andrews after his friend refused to lend him $100 but Justice Fiannaca said his conduct after the killing spoke volumes about his motivation.
He said it found it hard to believe the murder was all over that amount of money.
“It is difficult to fathom that you would do what you did to a close friend,” Justice Fiannaca said.
“No sentence can ever compensate for the loss that Mr Andrews’ family and his friends have suffered.”
Napier took into account things he had read or seen on television when he disposed of Mr Andrews’ body.
He used copious amounts of bleach and other cleaning products when he was cleaning the victim’s house.
Originally published as Man jailed for brutal murder of only friend