High Court overturns murder convictions for four SA men
Four men found guilty of the bashing murder of an Albanian refugee during the robbery of a cannabis crop in Adelaide have had their convictions quashed by the High Court.
The court has ordered a new trial be held for Benjamin John Mitchell, Alfred Claude Rigney, Matt Bernard Tenhoopen and Aaron Donald Carver over the death of Urim Gjabri at his suburban rental property in 2018.
Mr Gjabri was discovered by a friend in a pool of dried blood.
The 46-year-old had been hit over the head at least once and possibly twice, and according to forensic evidence initially survived the attack.
Evidence before the SA Supreme Court suggested he had lived for at least another 35 minutes and possibly up to 24 hours.
In its ruling on Wednesday, the High Court said the prosecution in the murder trial alleged that in the course of committing the indictable offence of criminal trespass, one or more of the participants violently assaulted Mr Gjabri causing his death.
It was argued at trial that as part of an extended joint criminal enterprise, each of the accused had foreseen that one of them might have perpetrated an intentional act of violence.
In such circumstances, the trial judge directed the jury that the prosecution could establish a pathway to murder.
However, the High Court found that such provisions could not be relied on and therefore the jury had not been properly instructed.
"The trial judge erred by failing to direct the jury that for common law murder based on extended joint criminal enterprise the accused must also foresee the consequence of death or really serious bodily harm," the court said.