Death stare sparks NSW car park stabbing

Miranda Forster

A fatal stabbing in a car park on Sydney's northwest edge was sparked by an apparent "death stare", according to court documents.

Stephen McGuiness pleaded guilty in the NSW Supreme Court on Monday to the manslaughter of 26-year-old David Campbell at Freemans Reach in February 2015.

McGuiness stabbed Mr Campbell in the neck at Macquarie Park recreational area after a dispute broke out between two carloads of young men, according to a statement of agreed facts tendered in court.

The document says Mr Campbell was driving out of the car park with Scott Wilson, 25, and another friend when three men in a Nissan Skyline coming in gave them a "death stare", according to Mr Wilson.

It was a Saturday evening and Mr Campbell and his friends had been drinking beer, vodka and bourbon.

Mr Wilson told Mr Campbell, "Let's just go", but Mr Campbell made a U-turn and followed the Skyline into the car park, according to the facts.

Mr Campbell was heard by a Skyline passenger to say, "What the f*** are you looking at?" and, once the cars had parked, Mr Wilson approached and started swinging his fists at the Skyline driver.

An independent witness saw a shirtless Mr Campbell push 26-year-old McGuiness's chest and say, "Come on, fight me," the facts said.

McGuiness was seen to back away and say he didn't want to fight but Mr Campbell felled him with a punch to the head, before a fist fight broke out between them.

Mr Campbell looked to have gained the upper hand but, after he rained four blows to McGuiness's head, he was stabbed in the neck with a knife by McGuiness.

Mr Campbell stumbled back, saying words to the effect of, "he stabbed me", and collapsed, the facts said.

An autopsy later detected he had a blood alcohol level of 0.138.

McGuiness tried to escape in the Skyline but it crashed nearby, and he fled.

He was arrested at his home the next day but denied stabbing Mr Campbell and even being in the area that day.

He was charged with murder and had been due to stand trial on Monday, but pleaded guilty to manslaughter instead.

McGuiness is due to face a sentence hearing in December.