'We tried Aaron': Killed Rocky man's family speaks out
AARON Flenady was an "innocent bystander" as his soon-to-be killer launched a frenzied stabbing attack on George Swadling.
Extended family of the slain 32-year-old represented the Rockhampton man during the five-day Supreme Court trial of Sebastiano Garofalo, aged 34.
Among them was Mr Flenady's grandmother; though she "couldn't bring herself to be present" for the entirety of the case, Mr Flenady's aunts and other loved ones remained for the long-awaited verdict.
Garofalo was today found not guilty of murder, but guilty of the manslaughter of Mr Flenady, and not guilty of attempted murder, but guilty of committing a malicious act with intent for stabbing George Swadling.
The charges stem from an attack at homeless men's shelter, Oznam House, the morning of September 15, 2015.
The Flenady family requested their privacy be respected following Garofalo's sentence this afternoon, but prepared a brief statement which chief investigator Detective Sergeant Mick Logan delivered on their behalf.
"The Flenady family would like to thank the prosecution team, Queensland Police Service and all witnesses for their compassion, efforts and professionalism during the trial," the family stated.
"This has been a devastating matter for the family.
"Aaron was an innocent bystander and will always be remembered for his compassion and bravery whilst trying to help defuse a violent situation.
"Although nothing can bring our beloved Aaron back to us, some justice will help with our healing process.
"We tried Aaron".
Though the Flenady family did not submit a formal victim impact statement, Chief Justice Catherine Holmes touched on their heartache as she handed down her sentence earlier today.
"The result of this (attack) is that Mr Flenady, at the age of 32, lost his life, which must be an enormous grief to his relatives," she said.
"Because although there would have been a good deal of cause for concern given the position he was in, no doubt he made his relatives anxious because of his lifestyle, they would not have expected him at that age to meet such a savage end."
Garofalo was today sentenced to 11 years behind bars for the manslaughter of Mr Flenady and six years jail for the malicious acts causing grievous bodily harm of George Swadling.
Both sentences are to be served concurrently, with 675 days served from September 15, 2015 - July 20, 2017 declarable.
As a serious violent offender Garofalo has to serve a minimum of 80% of his sentence.
Sgt Logan thanked all witnesses who provided information throughout the case, and thanked Oznam House staff for their assistance.
"This outcome brings to a close a very long and sorrowful event in a number of people's lives, a life has been lost, another person was seriously injured," he said.
"It's very pleasing that the matter has successfully been brought to its conclusion.
"Aaron was represented by a number of family members, in particular a grandmother was there, a number of aunts and other family members."