Robert Xie GUILTY of massacring five family members in 2009

Rebekah Ison
AAP

Robert Xie has been found guilty of murdering five of his wife's relatives, more than seven years after the family was bludgeoned to death in their Sydney home.

Xie, 53, had pleaded not guilty to murdering the relatives of his wife Kathy Lin in their North Epping home in the early hours of July 18, 2009.

On its eighth day of deliberations, a NSW Supreme Court jury on Thursday found him guilty of five counts of murder following a six month trial.

As the majority verdict was handed down on Thursday, Xie told the court he did not murder the Lin family.

"I am innocent," he told the jury as he left the court.

His wife Kathy began to cry.

The verdict comes after Xie faced four trials and almost five years on remand in jail after the killings.

Lian Bin "Robert" Xie (right) arrives at the NSW Supreme Court in Sydney, on Tuesday, June 28, 2016. Photo: AAP

Lily and Min Lin pictured with sons Terry and Henry. All were murdered in the Lin family home. Photo: Supplied.

Xie gasped in court as the verdict was handed down, before declaring his innocence.

For years he had denied it all and his wife had stood by him.

During the trial, Xie was accused of using a hammer-like object to inflict horrific head injuries on his newsagent brother-in-law Min Lin, 45; his wife Lily Lin, 43; her sister Irene, 39; and the Lins' two sons, Henry, 12, and Terry, 9.

The court heard Xie moved from bedroom to bedroom, first bludgeoning Min and Lily to death with a hammer-like object. He did the same to Irene, finishing with the two children.

Police had focused their attention on Xie, he had access to the house via a key, had knowledge of the home's layout, and the electricity had been cut off.

There was no forced entry, and nothing was taken from the home.

Evidence suggested Xie had sedated his wife on the night of the murders.

It wasn't until two years after the killings that he was charged.

Police alleged he hated his brother-in-law.

The Crown alleged he was driven by resentment and jealousy because his brother-in-law Min Lin was seen within the family as a better businessman.

It was alleged he was motivated by anger and resentment over his perceived "subordinate status" within the extended family.

The Crown also suggested there was a sexual motive, but details cannot be published for legal reasons.

The court heard the murders were “well planned, personal, there was nothing random about it.”

"He was hurting the people that had not given him the respect and admiration he believed he was entitled to,” the prosecution told the Jury.

Police always believed a crime this savage had to be personal.

The jury wasn't unanimous but the judge told them a majority verdict would suffice.

Shortly after Xie was found guilty on all counts.

He told the court: “I did not murder the Lin family. I am innocent”.

"While I have the power to discharge you from returning verdicts, that power will only be exercised by me if I'm satisfied that after further deliberations there's no likelihood of genuine agreement being reached and verdicts returned," Justice Fullerton instructed the jury, as they struggled to reach a verdict on Thursday.

"It's the experience of the criminal justice system that juries can often reach agreement if they are given more time to consider the issues."


The defence pointed to Xie's alibi, supported by his wife, that he was in bed asleep with her when the crimes occurred in the nearby Lin residence and also says more than one assailant was likely to have been involved.

The defence said Xie got along with his five relatives, in particular with his nephew Henry whom he loved like a son.

Kathy Lin, the wife of Robert Xie arrives at the NSW Supreme Court, in Sydney on Wednesday, December 28, 2016. Photo: AAP

Before the verdict, Justice Fullerton told jurors they must consider the opinions of their peers during deliberations, but reminded them they must reach a verdict that satisfied their genuine beliefs.

"If you are honestly and genuinely ... satisfied beyond reasonable doubt of the accused's guilt, you cannot join in a verdict of not guilty," she instructed.

"If you have a reasonable doubt of his guilt, you cannot join a verdict that finds the accused guilty."

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