Police have identified human remains found inside a large metal drum as those of Norman Desmond Cheney, 41.
Police have identified human remains found inside a large metal drum as those of Norman Desmond Cheney, 41.

Man who helped put body in barrel loses bid for lenience

THE man who helped murderer Anthony Charles Oliver concrete his dead mate into a 44-gallon barrel has lost his bid for a reduced jail sentence due to mental health issues.

The man, known only as HBI in a Queensland Court of Appeal judgment handed down on Tuesday, also helped load the barrel containing Norman Desmond Cheney, 41, on to a ute so it could be dumped in the Caboolture River in December, 2010.

Mr Cheney, a father of three, had a severe gunshot wound to the head and a deep cut across his neck when the barrel was found after extensive flooding in the area in February, 2011.

HBI, a 61-year-old father of one, lost his older sister in a shark attack at age 11 and he says that detrimentally affected his life.

A psychiatrist report found the death desensitised him to personal loss while a family fight over his father's will and a five-year drought at the family's farm caused further issues.

HBI was sentenced to five years jail, suspended after he had served a year behind bars, for accessory after the fact to murder.

His lawyers said he had an over-developed sense of loyalty to family and a fear of retribution from Mr Cheney's associates if the body was discovered on his farm.

Court of Appeal president Margaret McMurdo said although HBI did not witness the murder, he should have had some insight into the grave, anti-social nature of his conduct afterwards.

"A 59-year-old's misguided sense of loyalty to a murderous family member is not a weighty mitigating feature, if it is one at all," she said.


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