Man supplying gun before murder 'naive'

·3-min read

Supplying a firearm for a "drug rip" that led to the fatal shooting of a Sydney footballer was naive and a mistake, a judge has heard.

On Wednesday, Cem Batak's counsel Thomas Woods argued his client had limited knowledge of a planned robbery on a Five Dock apartment in which Parramatta FC soccer player John Odisho was killed on April 2, 2019.

During a NSW Supreme Court sentencing hearing, Justice Robert Hulme heard Batak had made poor choices and mistakes in his life, including providing the Glock pistol to Cengiz Coskun before the murder.

The barrister said Batak displayed naivety and immaturity around the time of the killing, including by speaking to his accomplices about the robbery on regular phone chats and not through encrypted means.

"On its own, that is consistent with my client perhaps being naive," Mr Woods said.

"Or possibly, to put it bluntly, just stupid," the judge replied.

A jury separately found Batak and Coskun guilty of murder and attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon after the pair pleaded not guilty before trial.

Batak supplied the firearm and a hi-vis shirt to Coskun who then attempted a so-called drug rip - stealing commercial amounts of drugs and money from safehouses - at a Five Dock apartment in the early hours of April 2.

Mr Odisho, 24, who was living there, was shot in the head and killed.

Around two kilograms of cocaine worth $400,000 was found at the crime scene, the court heard.

Crown prosecutor Sally Traynor argued Batak knew more about the robbery than he admitted to, including that there would be valuable amounts of drugs or money on the premises.

In intercepted phone calls, Batak was heard talking about other drug rips, including at a florist where $300,000 worth of drugs were located, and a Persian individual who was holding two kilograms of illicit substances, Ms Traynor said.

"The drug rips that are being discussed of that kind, they're not low level types of rips."

The seriousness of the offence was higher because the firearm supplied was self-loading and featured an extended magazine holding more ammunition, the court heard.

Batak gave the weapon to Coskun, who he knew had been in jail and would use the gun in the robbery, and had even planned further drug rips after hearing Mr Odisho had been killed, Ms Traynor said.

"That is a significant, the Crown says, event that might cause a person pause as to whether they continue in relation to criminal activity."

Mr Woods admitted his client was not a person of good character, but said he had not previously been convicted and had shown insight into his actions, despite pleading not guilty.

"He accepts that he did make mistakes in this wider, wider story and certainly made a mistake in associating with Coskun and storing guns which in itself is a grave offence."

He rejected claims by the Crown that Batak showed guilt by cleaning out his garage after the murder to get rid of incriminating evidence, instead arguing that the 30-year-old was paranoid about Coskun leaving something behind.

A longer parole period should be imposed, the judge heard, because Batak had good prospects of rehabilitation, had solid family support and was distancing himself from people of "anti-social influence".

The standard non-parole period generally given for murder is 20 years.

Batak's sentence will be delivered on September 15.