Sydney stabbers jailed for 2015 killing

Greta Stonehouse

Two friends once convicted of the stabbing murder of a Sydney man have had their jail times reduced after a second jury found them guilty of manslaughter.

Wade Martinez and Jake Tortell were initially jailed in 2017 for at least 16 years after George Garmo was found dead on a footpath two years earlier with nine stab wounds to his chest and back.

They successfully appealed their murder convictions and were granted a retrial in 2019 where they were found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

The Crown had not accepted their guilty plea to the less serious charge.

In the NSW Supreme Court on Friday, Justice Peter Johnson jailed Wade Martinez for at least seven years and seven months and Jake Tortell for at least five years and six months.

In 2015, the 20-year-old victim was walking with his girlfriend past a Bossley Park home which Martinez and Tortell happened to be inside.

Martinez came outside brandishing a kitchen knife and slashed Mr Garmo's hands. The victim then fled through the yards of local houses.

The judge found Martinez's historical animosity with the victim proved he was the driving force behind the attack - but it remains unclear who killed Mr Garmo.

Justice Johnson said Tortell was "swept up in these sudden and unexpected events because of his friendship with the offender Martinez".

Mr Garmo's father previously told the court his son was killed two weeks before his birthday, so instead of celebrating his 21st he had to organise a funeral.

"For the rest of our lives we will continue to wonder what George would be like at each birthday and every milestone," Harith Garmo said.

George Garmo had previously been responsible for at least two drive-by shootings on Martinez's family home.

The Crown says Martinez, who refused police help, resolved to "take care of the matter himself with his aggressive pursuit of Mr Garmo" on the night of the attack.

Justice Johnson set a maximum term for Martinez of 10 years and six months, while Tortell received a term of eight years and five months.