By court reporter Rebecca Opie
Supreme Court Justice Malcolm Blue sentenced Penhall to life in prison with a non-parole period of 23 years for the murder of David Norris, 39, at a Salisbury workshop in September 2017.
At trial, the 40-year-old argued that he was acting in self-defence after Mr Norris attacked him — but his claims were rejected by the jury.
“I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Norris did not attack you with a spanner before you hit him with it,” Justice Blue said during sentencing.
“I found it inherently unlikely that Mr Norris would approach you in the manner of which you gave evidence.”
“A clear motive for the attack was never established.”
The jury took less than five hours to find Penhall guilty of murder last November.
Penhall’s friend, 67-year-old Hans Thaller, was sentenced to 12 months in jail on Tuesday for impeding the investigation into Mr Norris’s death.
The court heard he washed the blood from the spanner and failed to tell police during his initial interview that Penhall had been at the workshop.
Killer’s friend washed the bloody spanner
Justice Blue described Thaller’s actions — which were caught on CCTV — as “impulsive, panicky and inept”.
He allowed Thaller to serve his sentence on home detention given his actions only delayed police interviewing Penhall by a few hours.
Penhall has applied for permission to appeal against his conviction.
During the trial, the Supreme Court heard Penhall beat Mr Norris with a large spanner used for trucks and measuring 60 centimetres while weighing two kilograms.
Prosecutor Jim Pearce told the jury Mr Norris suffered multiple skull fractures, some of which were inflicted as he lay on the workshop floor.
“He was probably motionless, he was certainly unable to defend himself,” he said.
“His battered and bloodstained body was found later that evening.”
The court heard Penhall and Mr Norris were friends and had been talking amicably before the attack.
Penhall opted to give evidence in his own defence, telling the court that Mr Norris struck him first with the spanner and he was forced to defend himself.
After the killing he fled.
Penhall was charged with the shooting murder of Stephen Hydon, a member of the Gypsy Joker outlaw motorcycle gang, in Wallaroo in 2004, but he and his co-accused, Erin Woodward, were acquitted.
Four years later, Penhall nearly died after being shot more than a dozen times during an ambush at Paskeville.