Legal first … Philip Leung has been found guilty after three trials.Sydney jeweller Phillip Leung has been found guilty of killing his male partner after three trials spanning four years – a first in NSW’s legal history.
Leung, 51, sobbed uncontrollably in the dock as the jury found he was guilty of manslaughter over the death of his long-term partner Mario Guzzetti – a crime for which he had previously been acquitted.
“This is wrong, just wrong,” Leung said, through tears.
The trial in the NSW Supreme Court had heard that on the morning of April 7, 2007, a row erupted between the couple over a tiler’s bag of cement that was obstructing access at their home in Alexandria.
About the same time, neighbours heard a loud noise, like a shelf falling. After several minutes’ silence, Mr Leung was heard wailing hysterically.
The first witnesses at the scene found him at the foot of the stairs, rocking back and forth while cradling his blood-stained partner, who had sustained head injuries. Mr Guzzetti, 72, had stopped breathing by the time ambulance officers arrived.
At his original trial in 2009, Mr Leung was acquitted of murder after a judge directed the jury to find him not guilty.
The Crown, however, used NSW’s controversial double jeopardy laws, introduced in 2006, to have the verdict quashed.
Mr Leung then faced court on a manslaughter charge last April, but became the first person in Australian legal history to be acquitted twice by a judge’s directed verdict. As he left court that day, he said he was “finally free” to move on.
He was wrong.
In March this year, the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal upheld a second appeal by the Crown and ordered that Mr Leung again be tried for manslaughter.
Leung appeared to be in a state of shock as the jury foreman delivered the verdict today after two days of deliberations, shaking his head slowly before breaking down. At least one member of the jury also appeared to be crying.
Leung’s barrister, Winston Terracini, SC, made a last ditch effort to keep his client out of jail, asking that he be granted bail.
But Justice Derek Price refused bail, telling court sherrifs to “take the offender into custody”.
Leung, still protesting his innocence, removed his jewellery and his glasses and descended the stairs to the cells below.
Mr Leung, 51, is the first person in NSW legal history to be tried three times over the same homicide investigation.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.