Feeney initially denied any wrongdoing when Bruce Mark Flynn died.
Feeney initially denied any wrongdoing when Bruce Mark Flynn died. Contributed

Tyrant housemate controlled man's friendships, finances

LIKE many domestic tyrants, William Arthur Feeney's verbal and emotional abuse escalated to physical violence.

Unlike many other abuse cases, Feeney and his victim Bruce Mark Flynn were never in a conventional domestic or family relationship.

Feeney, 57, was sentenced on Friday after pleading guilty to manslaughter four days earlier.

Brisbane Supreme Court heard Feeney moved in to Mr Flynn's Nanango house and helped cook and clean.

Mr Flynn, 60, was an accident-prone man in poor health.

There was no suggestion the South Burnett men had a sexual relationship.

But the friendship became increasingly abnormal before Mr Flynn died in September 2015.

Prosecutor Dzenita Balic said Feeney demanded an "exclusive" friendship, and Mr Flynn became withdrawn.

The men lived together for about two years.

Neighbours complained of hearing Feeney verbally abuse the older man.

In May 2015, Mr Flynn received a $28,200 benefits payout.

$5000 went to paying off a loan Feeney had, as he extended his control over Mr Flynn's money.

The day Mr Flynn died, Feeney's dog went missing.

Later, an argument erupted and Feeney used an unknown but long, narrow weapon on the other man.

"The killing occurred in the spur of the moment," Ms Balic said.

Mr Flynn received a broken leg, lacerated spleen and had internal bleeding.

Mr Flynn's narrow arteries made him susceptible to cardiac arrest, although neither man knew that.

Ms Balic said Mr Flynn used to visit family in NSW and Logan and his death deprived children of a grandfather.

Defence counsel Peter Richards provided testimonials for Feeney and a business management certificate from 2004.

The references weren't written specifically for the sentence, but rather to demonstrate Mr Feeney's "very good work history".

Justice Ann Lyons said Feeney "concocted an elaborate story" before admitting to manslaughter this week.

She said Mr Flynn's daughter was "shattered" and his stepson "haunted and had flashbacks" about the killing.

Feeney had antisocial tendencies but only a minor Queensland and NSW criminal history, the judge said.

Feeney was jailed for nine years and must serve at least half the sentence before he's eligible for parole.

Justice Lyons declared 717 days pre-sentence custody as time served. -NewsRegional

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