David Hickson found guilty of murdering Campbell Paterson

Campbell Paterson of Napier (supplied)
Campbell Paterson of Napier (supplied)

David Leslie Hickson has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Napier man Campbell Paterson in Queensland, in 2014.

Mr Paterson's dismembered body was found stuffed in a chilly bin in rural Edmonton, southeast of Cairns.

Hickson, 32-year-old local, pleaded not guilty to murder, but guilty to a charge of interfering with a corpse. He was found guilty of murder earlier today.

During the trial, the court heard Hickson stabbed Mr Paterson in the neck with a "zombie slayer knife" and cut off his legs, before dumping the chilly bin containing the remains it in rural bushland.

The defence claimed Hickson acted in self-defence.

"It was Hickson's belief that he had to act," his lawyer, Peter Feeney, said.

Hickson said Mr Paterson lunged for a knife when he confronted him about text messages from a crime boss.

"I felt that I was going to get knocked. I didn't do it just for the fun of it," Hickson told police.

But the Crown disputed Hickson's claim of self-defence and argued he intended to murder Mr Paterson.

"He dismembered another human being's body and to fit it in an Esky [chilly bin], he chopped it up. He didn't call the police. His behaviour on morning of the seventh wasn't panic; it was clinical," Crown prosecutor Nigel Rees said.

Mr Paterson's family flew to Cairns for the trial.