Two years and two months after he helped cover up the murder of Wangaratta's Nathan Day, and his own involvement afterwards, Phillip Dunn will be released from jail next week.
Dunn, 61, was initially one of two men charged with murder, but instead pleaded guilty to assisting Darcy McNamara, 44, after he said McNamara killed Mr Day on July 26, 2018.
His jail sentence of two years and two months will finish on Wednesday next week, then he will have to complete an 18-month community correction order.
Mr Day died when his throat was cut while in the bedroom of McNamara's Ryan Avenue home.
Dunn denied being part of the violence himself, claiming he was locked out of the house at the time, but Justice Michael Croucher told the Supreme Court on Monday that he found that Dunn "was present when Mr Day was murdered".
"Either at the time of the infliction of the fatal wound or shortly afterwards, Mr Dunn was close enough to him for Mr Day's blood to end up on his hands, shoes and clothes," he said.
Between 12am and 3am the next morning, Dunn went to a friend's house - likely straight from McNamara's - where the friend saw him with blood on his hands and shoes.
He said Dunn told him "we did something really bad, me and Darcy" and "Darcy's f---ing mad and took it too far".
Justice Croucher said it was lawful for the court to accept guilty pleas from both men based on different versions of events.
"The difficulty arises because Mr Dunn is not being sentenced for the murder of Mr Day, nor even for any part in causing his death, yet it is his death that must be the most saddening thing for his loved ones," he said.
"Instead, Mr Dunn is to be sentenced for his behaviour in assisting Mr McNamara with the purposes of impeding his apprehension, prosecution, conviction or punishment.
"Doubtless there must still be grief caused by the attempt to cover up the murder and the delay in the discovery of his death for which Mr Dunn is at least partly responsible."
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Dunn lied to the police and others in Wangaratta about Mr Day still being alive in the weeks after he knew the 35-year-old had died.
He told a Salvation Army officer he thought Mr Day went to Melbourne, told another woman that he had called on the phone from Flinders Street or Docklands, told another group Mr Day was probably in Geelong or Seymour and would be back in a few days, and told police he had not seen him for more than a month.
Assistance to McNamara also included providing him with cleaning products for the bedroom and shovels to potentially help bury Mr Day's body, and getting rid of a knife that may have been connected to the murder.
Justice Croucher said Dunn had remorse, but not a "deep appreciation" of what he did wrong.
"There is nothing this court can say or do that will heal the grief and pain suffered by Mr Day's loved ones. The sentence I will impose is not a reflection of the worth of his life, as if anything so precious could ever be valued," he said.