Two men jailed for Brisbane doctor's death

·3-min read

Luping Zeng left his home and family in China dreaming of a new life in Australia.

The gifted skin cancer doctor wanted nothing more than to work hard at a successful career and create a loving home with his wife and two daughters.

On April 16, 2019, that dream ended in bloodshed with the doctor gunned down in the garage of his home.

The skin cancer specialist had worked late at his Waterford medical clinic the day of the tragedy arriving at his Macgregor home in Brisbane's south just before midnight.

He was packing his car, preparing for another early start when he was confronted by three bandits high on drugs and armed with a shotgun, machete and a baseball bat.

"Hurry, call the police! Someone has a gun," he yelled to his wife just inside their home.

They were Dr Zeng's last words.

Seconds later a single shotgun blast rang out with 165 pellets fired into the doctor's chest and stomach.

Dr Zeng lay bleeding as his wife and daughters tried to save him.

He was cold and unresponsive when paramedics arrived and his heartbeat was weak.

He suffered a massive cardiac arrest on the way to hospital where was pronounced dead just before 1am.

His 17-year-old killer, who cannot be identified, last year pleaded guilty to murder.

The killers' accused bandits Joshua Hamilton, 22, and Billy Smith, 21, faced the Brisbane Supreme Court on Tuesday to plead guilty to manslaughter.

The two men may not have pulled the trigger, but Dr Zeng's family say they were part of a crime that has left them "utterly bereft".

"We were all home when we heard the gunshot. We all heard the sound - it will forever be in our heads," Dr Zeng's wife said in a statement read to the court.

More than two years after the fatal shooting, the family still struggled with pain and loss.

"We believed we could make a positive difference to this part of the world that we have sacrificed so much to come to and settled down in.

"We sought a life of real meaning, to work hard and contribute to humanity.

"The gentle, kind and generous man who was my husband and father of our two children was casually and needlessly taken from us. I feel robbed of my husband and the centre of my life.

"I feel like a hollow person. Our two daughters still depend on me financially and emotionally but I am in no fit state to be the mother to them that I want to be."

Family members in the gallery sobbed quietly as the court was told Dr Zeng's mother still does not know her youngest son is dead.

During sentencing, Hamilton offered a written apology to Dr Zeng's family saying he "wished I could have stopped my co-accused".

In sentencing, Justice Glenn Martin said it was a "premeditated armed robbery" with a purely financial motive taking the life of a "good and honourable man".

"The death of Dr Zeng has had an enormous deleterious effect on the physical, mental and financial wellbeing of his wife, his daughters and his brothers.

Hamilton was sentenced to seven years and six months imprisonment and will be eligible for parole later this month.

Co-accused Smith was sentenced to eight and a half years and will be eligible for parole in September 2022.

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