A man has been charged with murder after human remains were found in Oakleigh South.
A man has been charged with murder after human remains were found in Oakleigh South. 9 News

Wheelie bin killer could get more jail

A Melbourne man who shot a graphic designer, dumped his body in a wheelie bin and kept it in a storage locker for 17 years could spend more time behind bars.

John Spencer White admitted the 2001 manslaughter of John Christianos, whose remains were discovered at an Oakleigh South storage facility in 2018.

He was jailed in 2019 for a maximum six-and-a-half years for the killing and must serve at least three-and-a-half years.

Proper weight was not given to the gravity of the offending in the sentence, prosecutor Diana Piekusis QC told the Court of Appeal on Thursday.

"He took the law into his own hands," Ms Piekusis said of the killer.

There was an argument between the pair after White invited the victim to his property the night of the fatal shooting.

White said he shot Mr Christianos twice after he was threatened with a knife, and panicked.

"It was a disproportionate response to that perceived threat," Ms Piekusis said.

She added there were significant aggravating features including the lengths taken to hide the body and the "lies and deceit" that took place after the crime.

The killer told a woman who knew Mr Christianos, that he was suicidal and White discouraged her from reporting his disappearance to police.

"[He] took active steps to avoid discovery," Ms Piekusis said.

But lawyer Paul Holdenson QC argued his client acted in self-defence and fired in a "panic", out of fear for his safety.

If there was an error made about the gravity of the offending, it could be emphasised by the justices and the appeal should be dismissed, he said.

Mr Holdenson also said the prosecution failed to satisfy the court it was a "manifestly" inadequate jail term.

Court of Appeal Justices Chris Maxwell, David Beach and Mark Weinberg reserved their decision.


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