A Sydney actor has been found not guilty of murdering a fleeing home intruder with a samurai sword, but guilty of his manslaughter.
Blake Davis, 31, pleaded not guilty to murdering Jett McKee who he struck in the head with the sword after the ice-fuelled intruder fled his Forest Lodge unit on August 10, 2018.
Davis’ girlfriend Hannah Quinn, 26, was on Tuesday also convicted of being an accessory after the fact to Mr McKee’s manslaughter.
The 11-person NSW Supreme Court jury retired to consider its verdict on Monday and returned on Tuesday afternoon a guilty manslaughter verdict for Davis, deeming he had not acted in self-defence.
However, the jury deemed Davis was not guilty of murder.
Crown prosecutor Chris Taylor in Davis and Quinn’s trial described the sword attack as senseless, unnecessary and unlawful.
He contended Davis had not been acting in self-defence or defence of Quinn, noting the pair had chased the balaclava-clad Mr McKee about 80 metres down the street after he left their unit.
Quinn had caught up with Mr McKee and pulled him to the ground, with Davis striking the fatal blow while Mr McKee was on his hands and knees. The blow with the samurai sword sliced Mr McKee’s head open.
Davis in the trial gave evidence about his belief the intruder had shot him, and his belief that his girlfriend’s life was in danger.
But the Crown contended that no witnesses saw the 30-year-old Mr McKee pointing a gun at Quinn before he was struck with the sword, as professed by Quinn.
Quinn was then heard to say “what the f*** have you done?” by witnesses after Davis’ strike on Mr McKee.
Davis was in possession of the samurai sword – a legal weapon – as it was a gift from his brother on his 18th birthday.
Justice Natalie Adams on Tuesday permitted Davis to remain on bail, with strict conditions attached, while the sentencing process takes place. Quinn will also remain on bail.
The matter will return to court on February 26.