A man has been found guilty of murdering five members of his wife’s family in Sydney. Robert Xie killed brother-in-law Min Lin, Mr Lin’s wife Lily, their sons Henry, 12, and Terry, 9, and Mrs Lin’s sister Irene, in a crime that shocked Australia in 2009.
His murder conviction on Thursday ends a legal saga that has spanned three years and four murder trials. “I did not murder the Lin family, I am innocent,” Xie said after the verdict. The New South Wales Supreme Court heard evidence Xie, 53, resented Mr Lin, 45, because he was perceived as the better businessman within the extended family. “These perceptions invoked intense emotions on his behalf including anger and resentment and that the accused directed these emotions at Min and his wife,” prosecutor Tanya Smith said at the trial’s outset, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. “Also he was hurting the people that had not given him the respect and admiration he believed he was entitled to.” The court heard Xie took a hammer-like weapon to the family’s North Epping home, in Sydney’s northwest, sometime after 02:00 on 18 July 2009. He bludgeoned them to death. Xie was charged with murder in 2011 after police forensic officers found a blood stain in his garage. They alleged it contained DNA of four of the five victims The judge accepted a majority verdict of 11 to one after the jury failed to reach a unanimous decision. A jury in a separate trial last year failed to reach a verdict. The other two trials were aborted for legal reasons. Xie did not give evidence at any of the trials. He was supported throughout by his wife, Kathy, who cried after the verdict and proclaimed his innocence. Her parents hugged the prosecutor in another part of the court.