Sydney parolee guilty of frying pan murder

A middle-aged woman has been found guilty of murdering her retired friend with a frying pan after cooking him dinner.

Peter McCarthy was found bludgeoned to death on the floor of his South Coogee flat on December 20, 2020, surrounded by broken furniture and glass.

A bent frying pan, with its handle broken off, was found next to the body.

Narelle Fiona Smith offered several excuses about what had occurred and denied any physical conflict.

But her accounts were rejected on Wednesday by a NSW Supreme Court jury that found she'd murdered the retired solicitor after dinner on December 17.

Submissions on sentence will begin on February 3.

DNA evidence and fingerprints matching Mr McCarthy and Smith's profiles had been on objects throughout the unit, including the blue tarp partly covering his legs.

Smith, who pleaded not guilty to murder, initially told police she "didn't really know him".

Then, the parolee told police the pair met up and drank together after the elderly man had wished her a happy 46th birthday by text message.

In his flat, she helped Mr McCarthy with chores, cooked a potato bake for dinner and listened to him detail minor dramas with local women before she left about 8pm, she said.

Smith told police her blood might be found in the unit as she cut herself with a screwdriver while fixing Mr McCarthy's deadlock.

The offender also claimed she'd helped him to get all an ex-lover's belongings out of his unit "as he wasn't able to cope with her backlash".

Smith had always "categorically and vehemently" denied murdering her friend, pointing the finger at the ex-lover who had a key to his flat, her lawyer said.

But crown prosecutor Katharine Jeffreys suggested jurors would have no doubt that "the inevitable conclusion" was Smith killed Mr McCarthy.

"She is inconsistent on how well she knew the deceased, there was no evidence of a break-in, there's no forensic evidence in any relevant locations of an unknown individual," Ms Jeffreys said.

During the trial, Mr McCarthy's ex-wife admitted her relationship with him had become strained because of his drinking habit and "fondness for the ladies".

But said they had still kept in touch, including to organise Christmas gatherings each year.

She found his battered body when he didn't respond to messages.

While Smith denied liability, a person known by her used Mr McCarthy's ATM cards after the murder and Smith herself used his Opal card to travel around Sydney in the days after the homicide.