Stephen Gautreau has been sentenced to 12 years behind bars after pleading guilty to manslaughter last month in the death of 51-year-old Robert St. Denis.

Justice Bruce Thomas handed down the sentence in a London courtroom on Wednesday.

But he admitted, "The criminal justice system cannot give members of the St. Denis family what you want...peace of mind."

The sentence matched what the Crown recommended, after pointing out that Gautreau has a troubling criminal history.

Gautreau has a lengthy criminal record for violent crimes with 60 convictions and having spent time in prison on four separate occasions.

He was originally charged with second-degree murder in the case, but pleaded guilty to manslaughter in October.

The court heard that Gautreau broke into the St. Denis home in June 2015 looking for illicit drugs and money when a struggle ensued.

St. Denis lived with one of his daughters in the rural home on Westminster Drive in Thames Centre, southeast of London,  Ont.

Gautreau had only been out of custody for only 41 days when the altercation with St. Denis occurred.

Crown attorney Michael Carnegie said, "[Gautreau] beat Mr. St. Denis with a long bar object and disarmed Mr. St. Denis of his machete...there was blood splatter on the walls."

Gautreau sat passively in the prisoners box as the facts of the case were read into the record, while St. Denis' family and friends were in tears, and his daughters delivered emotional victim impact statements.

Kristyn Thomas, St. Denis' daughter, said, "It has been hard, like going forward just the past three years. It's harder for me when I know my son will never get to meet my dad and know how amazing he was, and just get to do some of the fun things I did when I was a child."

His other daughter, Dezarae St. Denis added, "I love and miss my dad so very much, I just, I wish I had him here with me right now...I hope the closure here today can allow me to move forward and proceed on with  my life and hopefully just have my dad by my side in my mind."