A man who failed to report the killing of Tyson Timothy Clark-Robertson has been sentenced to 12 months’ jail, wholly suspended.
A Launceston Supreme Court jury found Robert William Broad guilty of failing to report a killing after a two-day trial this week.
Mr Clark-Robertson was last seen in July 2016, nearly nine months before police discovered his remains in a shallow grave in the backyard of Broad’s Mayfield house.
During sentencing, Justice Robert Pearce said it was likely Broad discovered the killing after Christmas in 2016.
Broad told the court he saw an unusual patch in his garden when he cut his lawn in the weeks after Mr Clark-Robertson went missing.
The next time he cut the lawn, Broad said he noticed the patch was subsiding. This reminded him of what happened when burying a dog or sheep, Broad said.
He hoped it would all disappear.Justice Robert Pearce
He was suspicious about the patch, so he confronted his male housemate about it.
“I asked him, ‘is that a graveyard’. He said ‘no’,” Broad said.
Mr Clark-Robertson’s body wasn’t found until April 2017, four months after Broad had likely discovered the killing.
Justice Pearce said there was a natural human reluctance to accepting such information.
“He hoped it would all disappear,” Justice Pearce said.
But the delay between Mr Clark-Robertson’s death and the discovery of his body was “most traumatic for his family”, Justice Pearce said.
Although Broad could have reported his suspicion earlier, Justice Pearce said his indifference was not callous.
During closing submissions, defence lawyer Darrell Grey said his client had twice broken up fights in which one person was armed with a knife.
Both times Broad was injured, resulting in him spending extensive periods in the Launceston General Hospital, Mr Grey said.
Broad’s intellectual limitations had not impacted his work life, holding consistent employment since he left school at 15 and he was regarded as a very hard worker, Justice Pearce said.
Broad was sentenced to 12 months’ jail, wholly suspended for 18 months.