Two brothers are facing a life sentence after they were today found guilty of murdering businessman Peter Davis, with the victim’s grieving family shedding tears while telling of their relief knowing his murderers had finally been brought to justice.
After more than seven weeks of evidence, a Supreme Court jury took less than three hours to unanimously decide Ambrose John Clarke, 49, and his brother Xavier Gerard Clarke, 47, were guilty of murdering Mr Davis in May 2011.
The brothers had denied any involvement in the death of the businessman, whose body was discovered wrapped in plastic in the boot of his car outside a Rivervale motel.
Mr Davis’ emotional family left the court as soon as the verdict was announced after an earlier warning from the judge that any strong reaction would see people removed from the courtroom and possibly held in contempt of court.
The Davis family’s relief was audible and their sobs could be heard by those still in the courtroom.
The brothers showed no visible emotion as the jury convicted them of Mr Davis’ murder.
Outside court, Mr Davis’ brother Wayne welcomed the verdict, saying the brothers would now pay for their crime.
“It’s a shame we don’t have the death penalty anymore because I would have loved to see them get that,” Mr Davis said.
“They did what they did and thought they could get away it and their attitude towards the whole thing was ‘we didn’t do it’.
"The jury saw through that. There was never any doubt in our minds that they were guilty.
“What those two did has affected so many people – including our family and their own family.
"There’s no win-win situation in this.”
Mr Davis’ widow, Jenni, said she was pleased the case was over and told reporters she felt it had been important to sit through the trial for both her husband and family.
“Everyone’s help with this has been amazing. It was just a great outcome,” she said.
She said she wanted her husband remembered as a fun and happy person.
“He didn’t deserve this at all,” she said.
Outside court, Mr Davis’ emotional mother, Madeline, said she hoped her son’s murderers would “never get out for what they did to Peter”.
“I haven’t got Peter,” she said.
“All I kept hearing was ’body wrapped in plastic’.
“He was a man. He wasn’t just a body.”
Mr Davis' sister Coralanne, who did not want her surname published, said she did not hate the Clarke brothers.
She wept as she described the close bond she had with her brother when they were children, and said she was relieved for the immediate family.
The Clarke brothers were accused of luring Mr Davis to his death, in a case described by prosecutors as a “perfect storm when money, anger and revenge combined and collided in a seemingly middle-class family”.
Prosecutors alleged Ambrose was angry and frustrated by Mr Davis’ refusal to repay about $330,000 he believed he was owed after their business relationship soured.
The brothers will be sentenced later this month.