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Petryk found guilty of Wickham murder

MISSED: Police investigate the death of Robert Parry, inset, at Wickham in March, 2015. WITNESS KEY TO MURDER TRIAL




DANIEL Petryk has been found guilty of murder over the shooting death of small-time cannabis dealer Robert Parry during a “drug rip” home invasion at Wickham in 2015.

After a five-week trial in Newcastle Supreme Court, a jury took a little over nine hours to find Petryk, 25, of Windale, guilty of murder and armed robbery.

Petryk shook his head a little as the foreperson delivered the guilty verdicts.

Mr Parry, 41, a well-known Wickham identity who was deaf in one ear and left his front door unlocked,was shot in the stomach at close range in the lounge room of his Dickson Street home about 3am on March 7, 2015.

KILLER: Gunman Daniel Petryk was found guilty of murder on Friday. After a tumultuous trial, during which his first legal counsel withdrew and he decided not to run a defence case, Petryk was convicted on Friday morning.

With no physical evidence tying Petryk to the scene, the prosecution case rested on the shoulders of one witness; a woman who said she was with Petryk and Jesse Nikolovski, 24, of Mayfield, during the home invasion.

The witness, who cannot be identified, told the jury she was armed with an axe when she snuck into the home behind Petryk and watched as he pulled the trigger and Mr Parry fell to the ground.

MISSED: Robert Parry (right) with his father, Alan Parry.

Petryk had maintained he wasn’t there that night.

But the woman’s evidence sunk him and wholly exonerated Nikolovski on the murder charge, with the woman telling the court Nikolovski didn’t know the firearm Petryk was carrying was loaded.

That evidence led to Justice Helen Wilson giving the jury a directed verdict of not guilty in relation to the murder charge against Nikolovski.

IN CUSTODY: Jesse Nikolovski was found not guilty of murder and then pleaded guilty to armed robbery. The jury were not present when he entered his guilty plea. He is awaiting sentence on three other armed robberies and a conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

After deliberating for two hours on Thursday afternoon and two more on Friday morning, the juryreturned at 3.25pm on Monday to deliver their verdict, finding beyond reasonable doubt that it was Petryk who pulled the trigger and killed Mr Parry.

Petryk will be sentenced in February next year and facesthe prospect of life imprisonment.

More to come.