Mehmet Torun had smoked so much ice, he forgot he had loaded his shotgun.
As he waved the firearm around his Melbourne lounge room, telling a story to two friends and his girlfriend Kara Doyle, he said “and I told you man, the gun had no bullets in it”.
Minutes later he pointed the barrel at Ms Doyle and squeezed the trigger.
Ms Doyle later died from her injuries.
Torun was on Friday sentenced to eight years in prison for manslaughter, but with parole and time served, he could be out in four.
Victorian Supreme Court Justice Michael Croucher accepted Torun did not think the gun was loaded.
The 25-year-old Avondale Heights man’s DNA was found on the cartridge inside the firearm but Justice Croucher said because of his drug-addled state, Torun failed to remember putting it in.
Torun frequently used illegal drugs and was seen behaving erratically earlier that day in April last year.
“Absent that concession, it would be difficult to say this was anything but a murder,” Justice Croucher said.
Ms Doyle’s father said he was sad and disappointed.
“He’s going to walk in four years and Kara’s never coming back,” Nicholas Doyle said.
In victim impact statements, Ms Doyle’s mother Jenny Doyle also talked of the things that would never be.
She said instead of choosing the colour of her 24-year-old daughter’s wedding dress she had chosen the colour of her coffin.
She recalled how, after the funeral, a university had sent a letter accepting Ms Doyle into a psychology course.
It was heartbreaking having to explain why her daughter would not be taking up the offer, Ms Doyle said, but it also highlighted the loss of what might have been.
Torun, who came to Melbourne to be with Ms Doyle, wrote to her family apologising, but said he knew he should not expect their forgiveness.
Justice Croucher said Torun had been “extremely careless, very dangerous and profoundly stupid” but he accepted he was remorseful.
After the gun discharged Torun went to Ms Doyle, crying and saying “I’ve shot my baby” then, with his friend, drove her to the hospital.
But because they didn’t know their way around Melbourne they got lost, eventually ending up at a service station where police called an ambulance.
Torun was given a non-parole period of five years.