UPDATE 6PM: The family of a musician who was murdered after being pushed through a second-storey window of Ocean Beach Hotel has called for a strong message that violence is intolerable and unacceptable.
Speaking outside court this evening, after Stefan Pahia Schmidt was found guilty of murder by a Supreme Court jury, Andrew Marshall’s father paid tribute to the legacy left behind by his son and the harrowing ordeal of sitting through the details of their loved one’s death.
Flanked by his wife Wendy and other family members, Alan Marshall said the family did not want to waste their energy on bitterness and grudges.
“But we do want to see a strong message that violence is unacceptable and intolerable,” Mr Marshall said.
“This act of violence is like a rock thrown into a pond. The waves go out far and wide. It is not just one life that is destroyed.
“It is families and it is communities and for a lifetime.”
A jury deliberated for four hours today before convicting Schmidt of murder after an eight-day trial.
Schmidt, 26, stood silently then collapsed in tears, his head buried in his hands after the jury left the courtroom.
Mr Marshall died of his injuries the day after he was pushed and fell through the window on May 8 last year.
Schmidt had claimed he only intended to push Mr Marshall out of the way and did not intend any harm.
Closing the prosecution case yesterday, lawyer Amanda Forrester said there was no possible explanation for Schmidt’s unjustified attack on Mr Marshall other than a fit of rage.
Ms Forrester likened the incident to picking up a gun, pointing it at somebody and firing, without checking whether it was loaded or in working order, then realising the safety catch is not on.
But defence lawyer Tom Percy said Mr Marshall was dead because there was no safety glass in the windows at the OBH.
Mr Marshall’s family, who travelled from New Zealand to attend the trial, wept from the back of the court as the verdict was handed down.
“We have come here to Perth to honour our son Andy. He is a treasured member of our family and always will be,” Alan Marshall said outside court.
“We came to find answers, to hear the details of his death and his final hours.
“It has been heartbreaking and difficult to listen to.
“We are so proud to be here to represent Andy.
“We knew it was going to be tough attending the trial and we weren’t mistaken. It has been gruelling and harrowing, at time more than we could bear.
“We didn’t come to find relief or comfort, there wasn’t much of that.
“We didn’t come seeking closure or even justice. The truth for us is that there is no verdict or outcome that will bring Andy back to us.”
Schmidt, who has been in custody since the day after the murder, faces a life jail sentence.
He is due to be sentenced in early September.
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