Gordon Wood has been jailed for 17 years for the murder of Sydney model Caroline Byrne because he was endlessly tried by the media.
Gordon Wood has been sentenced to 17 years' jail with a non-parole period of 13 years for throwing his girlfriend Caroline Byrne to her death at The Gap, in Sydney's east, more than 13 years ago.
The sentence comes after more than a decade of investigating, a coronial inquest, an aborted trial and a second trial.
A Supreme Court jury of seven women and five men found the 46-year-old former chauffeur guilty of murder nearly two weeks ago after almost three months of evidence and six days of deliberations.
In sentencing Wood, Justice Graham Barr said the offence was committed after an argument and was not pre-meditated.
He sentenced him to 17 years and four months in jail with a non-parole period of 13 years.
Wood's supporters stood up in a packed public gallery as he was led up from the cells and after the sentence was handed down.
Outside court, Wood's sister Jacqueline Schmidt told the media the family is outraged at the sentence and hopes to have an appeal heard by the middle of next year.
"Obviously we're devastated that he should even have to spend 13 minutes in jail for a crime that has not been proven to have happened conclusively and certainly hasn't been supported by evidence that Gordon had anything to do with it," she said.
Jacqueline says her family are the forgotten victims in the ordeal.
"While we obviously empathise and sympathise with the Byrnes on the loss of their beautiful daughter, I think you need to remember too that we also grieve her loss, because she was intended to be a member of our family and we certainly consider her that way," she said.
"So I guess our stand is one of absolute conviction that a wrong has been done and our right as Australians to voice that concern to follow it through to what we hope will be a quashing of this particular sentence."
"We're devastated, we're also horrified and appalled that this sort of verdict can be handed down in our country today."
'Trial By Media Points'
Throughout the trial, the Crown argued Wood murdered the Sydney model because she knew too much about the business dealings of his boss, the late stockbroker Rene Rivkin.
Mark Tedeschi QC [a very bent prosecutor in NSW used by the government to blame patsies] had said the "killer point" of his case was that Wood knew where her body was before anyone else and that her body had landed head-first.
But Wood's defence team argued Caroline Byrne was at a high risk of suicide because she was depressed at the time of her death, a claim strenuously denied by her father Tony Byrne [who had everything to lose because he would have been seen in public as an inadequate father.]
Wood also claimed he could not have killed Ms Byrne because he was driving Mr Rivkin and Labor powerbroker Graham Richardson to lunch on the day she died.
That alibi was undermined by Mr Richardson, who had said he was lunching elsewhere that day.
On the day of the verdict, Wood's barrister, Winston Terracini SC, said he would appeal against what he described as an "unreasonable verdict", and said that his client maintained his innocence. He has plenty of support.
Jury system defended after trial aborted
Allegedly a female juror was bullying the others and had already decided Wood was guilty of murder...
Zionists are a power group in Australia
2) They attack and trial by media even those that may be innocent and drive them into being guilty, especially if they have something to gain from it.So people can be tried until they're found guilty – not just by the court but by the media endless sound-bites - regardless of a finding.
The perfect crime: trial by media!
I ask you? Why wouldn’t Gordon Wood be found guilty? Do you think he's getting a fair trial? Why not just throw him to the lions? Why doesn’t his council argue that he can’t get a fair trial?
Mouse Trap Game? Tried Until Guilty!
Two New South Wales Labor MPs have strongly criticised the Carr Government's proposed abolition of the 800 year old double jeopardy rule, which stops people being tried a second time for the same crime. The left-wing MPs have branded the reforms as dishonest and unjust in a formal submission to the Attorney-General's department.
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