Lottah murderer Kerry Alexander Bilston sentenced to jail

Launceston Supreme Court
Launceston Supreme Court

A Lottah man who killed his neighbour with a shotgun will spend at least a decade behind bars.  

Kerry Alexander Bilston, 66, was sentenced to 19 years in prison in the Launceston Supreme Court on Wednesday, for the murder of Dean Manshanden.

Bilston shot Mr Manshanden, 47, in the back of the head in October 2016.

He was found guilty of murder by a jury in December last year. 

Mr Manshanden’s mother Lesley Manshanden cried and hugged family members in court when Justice Robert Pearce handed down the sentence on Wednesday. 

The two men had been embroiled in an ongoing dispute over a shared access driveway in the weeks leading up to the murder.

During the trial in October, the court heard how Bilston “snapped” and decided to confront Mr Manshanden, who he said had been bullying him and his partner. 

Bilston had previously pleaded not guilty to the charges. His defence argued that he only intended to scare Mr Manshanden by firing a shot above his head. 

In handing down his sentence Justice Pearce said he was not satisfied that Bilston intended to kill Mr Manshanden, but that he “had fired the gun before and should have known what to expect”. 

Justice Pearce said the shot was made “in the heat of the moment” by a “highly agitated” man, who did not stop to think about his actions. 

Bilston will be eligible for parole after 10 years.