Friday, 12 December 2008

Robber jailed for killing newsagent

A Sydney robber who fled with just $195 before using a fence paling to kill a newsagent pursuing him has been jailed for at least seven-and-a-half years.

In the NSW Supreme Court on Friday, Justice Peter Hidden set a maximum term of 11-and-a-half years for Steven Momir Katic, 31.

A jury found Katic not guilty of murder but guilty of the manslaughter of Chinh Nguyen, 41, near his newsagency at Glenfield in Sydney's south-west, in February last year.

He also was sentenced for aggravated armed robbery, after admitting the offence.

Justice Hidden said Katic was wearing a mask and carrying an unloaded air rifle when he demanded money from Mr Nguyen, whose mother Susan Huynh also was present.

"Mr Nguyen handed over notes amounting to a little under $200 and the offender ran from the shop," the judge said.

"Unfortunately, Mr Nguyen, who must have been a man of no little courage and who could not have known whether the air rifle was loaded or not, pursued the offender."

After a struggle, Katic discarded the money and the air rifle was wrested from him, before Mr Nguyen pursued him into a laneway.

"At that point, the offender picked up a loose paling from the ground and struck Mr Nguyen forcibly to the head," he said.

Mr Nguyen, who recognised Katic as a customer, died in hospital a week later.

Justice Hidden concluded Katic had not intended to kill the newsagent, but had engaged in "excessive self-defence", fearing Mr Nguyen was going to attack him.

The judge said he was satisfied Katic was remorseful for his crimes, noting he had told a psychologist he thought about what he had done every day and "felt bad about it every day".

The earliest date Katic can be eligible for release on parole is August 25, 2014.

No comments: