Damian Degioannis sentenced for shooting death of friend in 2014


Damian Degioannis.
Damian Degioannis.

Justice Ralph Simmonds backdated Degioannis’ sentence 18 months for time served.

Degioannis, who was originally tried for murder, was found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter by a jury on March 4.

In his sentencing remarks, Justice Simmonds said he could not be satisfied that Degioannis intended to cause the death of Mr Hall.

He added that he could not be certain that Degioannis even meant to shoot Mr Hall in the chest.

However, Justice Simmonds said he was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Degioannis intended to fire a second shot at Mr Hall, who died on November 13, 2014 at the front of Degioannis’ home at 10 Day Road in Mandurah.

The court heard that at the time of the shooting, Degioannis had been giving up cannabis and methamphetamine to take custody of his children.

Mr Hall and Degioannis became involved in an argument on the day the victim died.

During the course of the argument, Mr Hall said to Degioannis: “Go on then, get your gun, be the big hero.”

Degioannis took a sawn-off rifle from inside his home and approached Mr Hall.

He then shot Mr Hall in the upper chest while the latter was standing about three to four metres away.

Degioannis fired a second shot, but it did not hit Mr Hall.

Several people tried to resuscitate the victim, while Degioannis ran away.

Mr Hall was taken by ambulance to Peel Health Campus where he later died.

Police never found the firearm Degioannis used. Degioannis expressed some remorse and empathy for Mr Hall following his death.

He felt bad as he considered Mr Hall a friend of two years, who used to buy drugs for him.

They had had arguments in the past, but they had been resolved.

Justice Simmonds said he believed that when Degioannis fired the rifle it was meant to drive away Mr Hall.

Justice Simmonds said the aggravating factors in respect to the offence were that Degioannis was using a firearm in a way likely to cause serious harm or the death of the victim, and that the firearm was unlicensed and modified.

“You (Degioannis) were using that weapon in a residential area where serious risks to others could reasonably be expected to be created,” Justice Simmonds said. “You ran from the scene without remaining to render what aid you could to the victim by your proximity to him.”

Degioannis will be up for parole in September 2021.