Victorian killer tried to blame his victim

Sandeep Walia will spend more than eight years behind bars after pleading guilty to manslaughter.
Sandeep Walia will spend more than eight years behind bars after pleading guilty to manslaughter.

Paramjeet Singh and Sandeep Walia had to be separated by friends after a wild argument about who would have to share a room with their new housemate.

Both men came to Australia from India in 2014 to study and work and were living with two other friends at a home in Maidstone, in Melbourne's west.

Walia brought home another man to move into the four-bedroom house on September 6, 2019.

Mr Singh didn't want to share his room and the pair threw punches before things calmed down a short while later.

But as Walia walked away, his back turned, Mr Singh struck him across the back of the head.

Walia launched at Mr Singh, held him against a wall and stabbed the 25-year-old three times to the neck and chest.

Mr Singh collapsed.

"Say it was an accident," Walia told another housemate when he said they needed to call for help.

He suggested they claim Mr Singh had stabbed himself in the neck while cutting vegetables.

Walia took the knife into the bathroom and cleaned it. He told another housemate to clean it too, but the man refused.

Paramedics tried to revive him but he died at the scene.

Walia initially told police Mr Singh hurt himself, but later confessed.

He was charged with murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Victoria's Supreme Court on Monday.

Walia will spend eight years and six months behind bars. Justice Phillip Priest ordered he serve at least five-and-a-half years in prison. He will be deported.

"I understand my action in the past have not been easy for you to accept and I can only imagine the pain that I've caused and for that I'm honestly truly very sorry," Walia wrote in a letter to Mr Singh's family.

"He was a brother to me. We ate, lived, shared and laughed together. That day still haunts me to this very day and if I could change the past I would, but I cannot."

His family, who once had great expectations for him, have disowned the 28-year-old.

Prosecutor Neill Hutton said there had been an initial concerted effort to cover up what happened, potentially out of panic.

But he said there was some coldness to the fact Walia had suggested telling the police he wasn't there and that it was an accident.

Justice Priest said his actions afterwards did him no credit.

He said Walia suffered post traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder stemming from earlier events in his life.

The judge believed Walia's emotions had been aroused in the heat of an argument with a good friend and he suffered a "fleeting but intense burst of anger".

He found Walia probably suffered a temporary loss of self control.

The situation was unusual and is unlikely to be repeated, meaning it's highly unlikely Walia would reoffend, he added.

Australian Associated Press