Not guilty over Tasmania sword murder

Five people have been found not guilty of murdering a young Tasmanian man who died after a suburban altercation sparked by a errant social media message.

Bobby Medcraft, 23, bled to death on March 29, 2020 after allegedly being bashed and cut with a sword in the northwest city of Burnie.

On Tuesday, a Supreme Court jury found Cody Sheehan, Lucas Ford, Michael Hanlon and Kelsey Ford not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.

Geoffrey Deverell, who was also accused of murder, was found not guilty of either crime.

The five-week trial, which began in Launceston in early October, heard Mr Medcraft was attacked by three of the men in a suburban street and ended up on the ground where he was repeatedly kicked and punched.

He was allegedly "chopped" with a sword on the back of the leg by Sheehan, severing his major artery and hamstring.

The sword, shown to the jury on the first day of the trial, was described as having skulls on the handle.

During opening submissions, crown prosecutor Jack Shapiro alleged the five accused had united in a unlawful common purpose.

Mr Shapiro alleged tensions sparked when a friend of Mr Medcraft mistakenly sent a Snapchat message to Lucas Ford with the phrase "what up c***".

Mr Shapiro said abusive messages between several people ensued, resulting in two groups, one including Mr Medcraft, being separated by police outside a house.

"At that point from (Mr Medcraft's) perspective, the night was really over. We allege that the night was not over (for the accused)," Mr Shapiro said.

"The accused agreed they would find (Mr Medcraft) and inflict violence as an act of retribution, revenge."

Sheehan's lawyer, Greg Richardson, told the court Mr Medcraft had earlier threatened to stab Lucas Ford in the face, and an axe and knife were found in the car he had travelled in.

He said Lucas Ford and Deverell had been stabbed with what appeared to be broken bottles during the altercation and urged the jury to consider self-defence.

Deverell and Kelsey Ford didn't put a hand on Mr Medcraft, their lawyers argued.

The matter will return to court at a later date for sentencing.