John Christianos was a talented artist but when affected by alcohol he was intimidating and frightening.
John Spencer White, 63, told police he was "petrified" when his once friend, a man he tried to help through drug and alcohol addiction, came at him with a knife so he shot him twice and killed him in Melbourne in June 2001.
On Thursday he was jailed for at least three-and-a-half years for manslaughter over the crime he covered up for 17 years.
After the killing, accepted by Victorian Supreme Court Justice James Elliott as self-defence, White panicked.
He stuffed the father-of-one's body into a wheelie bin and packed him into an Oakleigh South storage facility alongside sporting collectables and memorabilia from his business Memorabilia Headquarters.
White stopped paying the bill in 2004 but it wasn't until workers were cleaning out the storage locker last July that workers came across Mr Christianos's body.
Weeks later White was arrested in Queensland, where he'd moved a few years earlier to care for his terminally ill brother and later his ailing mother.
White has already spent 10 months behind bars and has been ordered to serve up to six-and-a-half years there.
Justice Elliott said he accepted the genuine remorse and regret White has expressed for what he'd done, its impact on Mr Christianos's family and those who found the body, well preserved despite the years.
White met Mr Christianos in 1999 and hired him to paint portraits of Sir Donald Bradman and AFL star Gary Ablett Senior to turn into posters.
He also gave Mr Christianos a place to live above his Malvern East shop, and later bought him a caravan to live in.
But Mr Christianos had a drinking problem and had attacked White, threatened him and on occasion brandished a knife in what Justice Elliott described as "intimidating and frightening" incidents.
He said there were signs before Mr Christianos's death that his life was spiralling out of control.
On June 11, 2001, Mr Christianos again threatened his friend with a knife, White told police after his arrest.
He fired two shots with a WWII handgun he'd bought to protect himself, and in panic hid the body and lied about Mr Christianos being suicidal, to cover his disappearance.
The judge found White had lived an otherwise outstanding live, making the most of limited opportunities available to him in his early years.
He'd worked hard to support his mother, who battled addiction and mental health issues and had worked as a street prostitute in St Kilda. He cared for some of his unknown number of siblings, and others.
"It is completely irrefutable your killing of Mr Christianos was completely out of character," Justice Elliott said.
But he acknowledged White had made a conscious, unlawful decision to obtain and using the gun and later cover up what he'd done.