Intruder jailed for murdering footballer

·3-min read

As a promising young footballer lay dying during a home invasion, his drug-dealing flatmate pleaded: "Johnny stay with me, don't go to sleep".

But John Odisho didn't survive being shot in the head, while his girlfriend has to live with the memory of his death and of having a gun pointed at her head as she was almost naked in bed.

In the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday, Justice Robert Allan Hulme jailed Cengiz Coskun for 34 years with a non-parole period of 25 years and six months.

He was found guilty of murdering the 25-year-old Parramatta Eagles FC soccer player and of attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Coskun and another intruder, who has not been identified by police, climbed over a balcony around 3.45am on April 2, 2019 to enter the first floor apartment in Sydney's Five Dock.

Despite his denial, the judge found Coskun was the intruder who shot Mr Odisho in the head during the shoot-out in which his flatmate, drug dealer Sargon Odisho, was shot in the arm.

Despite the common surname, they were not direct relatives.

At the time of the offence Sargon Odisho possessed more than two kilograms of pure cocaine, worth about $500,000, other drugs and firearms.

While the judge couldn't determine the precise role of each intruder, he said there must have been planning and premeditation that "involved selection of the home of a significant drug dealer as the target".

They arrived in separate cars and parked a street away before using a fire hydrant shelter to climb up onto the balcony and enter through the unlocked door.

John Odisho's girlfriend Larissa Mitchell-Wiszniewski, who was in his bedroom with him, testified to being awoken by a ruckus in the hallway and seeing him trying to keep the door closed with his body weight.

After he went out, the unidentified intruder pointed a silver gun at her head for a short time.

After an intruder fired into the other bedroom, Sargon Odisho fired a gun out into the hallway before she heard him saying her boyfriend's name and yelling to call an ambulance.

Evidence from neighbours included hearing loud and aggressive yelling, the words "you f****** killed him bro, you f****** killed him" and a voice saying "Johnny stay with me", "don't go to sleep".

Coskun, who was wounded in his lower left flank, was arrested after seeking treatment at Auburn hospital.

Experts determined that 10 rounds had been fired from a .40 calibre handgun while Sargon Odisho discharged his .38 Smith & Wesson six times.

The judge was satisfied while both intruders were armed, Coskun was the person who fired the .40 calibre rounds including the fatal shot.

"I am satisfied that Mr Coskun and the unknown intruder carried out a home invasion, intent on robbing the occupant(s) of something illegal and of significant value, being drugs, proceeds of drug sales (money), or both."

Describing Ms Mitchell-Wiszniewski as an intelligent and thoughtful witness doing her best to give accurate evidence, the judge said the effect on her must have been serious.

"Her outward stoicism appeared a cover for her bravery.

"I have no doubt the terrible and traumatic events she experienced will be in her memory for a very long time."

The judge said John Odisho's father had eloquently explained the sadness and grief he and the family have suffered over the tragic death.

Coskun, who has a long criminal history, had a disadvantaged upbringing and suffered abuse leading him to turn to alcohol and drugs.

In a letter to the court, he claimed he "never took a weapon anywhere" and mostly expressed pity for himself and his family, the judge said.

He found he was not remorseful and had no insight into his offending.