Three men found guilty of Sydney murder

·2-min read

Three men have been found guilty of murdering Jamie Phillips whose naked, beaten and stabbed body was dumped in a vacant lot in Sydney's southwest.

Barry Paul Cavanagh and Nathan McIvor, both 38, and Sean David O'Keefe, 39, had all pleaded not guilty to his murder.

But more than a month after their NSW Supreme Court trial commenced a jury found the men guilty on Tuesday.

The 46-year-old victim's body was found on a Glen Alpine lot near Campbelltown on October 25, 2018, after dying from a stab wound to the heart.

The Crown said the trio acted in a joint criminal enterprise to cause grievous bodily harm to Mr Phillips through a "sustained or prolonged physical assault" that led to Cavanagh pulling out a knife that ultimately killed him in an Ambarvale home.

O'Keefe's lawyer Richard Pontello SC had argued that without warning, Mr Phillips lunged at O'Keefe who stabbed him in self-defence, while the two other men were not in the room.

But the jury heard evidence that O'Keefe was pressured to put up his hand and that he would be looked after by "the boys" if he did so.

Forensic evidence from all three men was found at the crime scene while Cavanagh and McIvor's was located on Mr Phillips' body.

The dumped body was found with blunt force trauma wounds to his face and a "very high level" of ice in his system.

The trial heard a punch-up started because Cavanagh and O'Keefe stole ice from Mr Phillips who tried to grab it back.

A close friend testified to hearing banging noises, loud thumps and voices yelling from the group of rowdy men in another bedroom in her home.

She recalled hearing Cavanagh's voice saying "Shut the f*** up," McIvor say "you want to play games?", and O'Keefe say "be quiet", within the room.

Feeling scared she retreated but was followed by O'Keefe and McIvor, holding a knife, who warned her to remain quiet.

Later in the evening, she glimpsed her friend lying face down, wearing the same "fluorescent-like orange joggers" she had previously seen on him that day.

She was then locked back inside her bedroom while O'Keefe stood outside crying and Cavanagh saying "get your s*** together bro" and "should we take her out too?".

McIvor's defence did not dispute his involvement in relocating the body and his burning several of Mr Phillips' items, while Cavanagh's defence argued he had no part to play in the destruction of evidence or the disposal of Mr Phillips' body.

Justice David Davies will sentence all three men at a later date.