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No More Jail Time


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Two Sydney men involved in the 2009 "stray-bullet" shooting of Sydney truck driver Bob Knight will not spend another day in jail over the crime, after a judge gave one a suspended sentence and the other a sentence equal to time already served.

Tarek Elbadar and Moustafa Mariam were among five young men from south-west Sydney who initially faced murder charges for their role in the shoot-out between two gangs.

Justice Latham noted that the 34-year-old suffered from Tourette syndrome.

The confrontation was sparked by a verbal spat between two youths at a shopping centre.

During the course of a violent confrontation in the car park of a KFC chain in Milperra, a stray bullet flew into a busy roadway and killed Mr Knight as he sat in the cabin of his truck.

Neither Elbadar nor Mariam were tried over their involvement in the crime, with prosecutors accepting guilty pleas on the less serious charge of affray. Both men spent time in jail over the incident, but were since placed on bail.

In the NSW Supreme Court, Justice Megan Latham handed down sentences that meant neither man will spend another day in prison.

Elbadar, whose crimes included lying to the NSW Crime Commission about what had happened in a bid to protect his friends, was given a two-year suspended sentence and placed on a good behaviour bond, after Justice Latham found that his role in the shoot-out was limited to assisting others.

"The offender removed himself as soon as it became clear that guns were going to be used," she said of the June 25 confrontation.

"It appears clear that he was shocked by this level of violence."

Elbadar also alerted authorities to the fact that a number of those involved in the shooting had been injured.

Justice Latham noted that the 34-year-old suffered from Tourette syndrome that resulted in feelings of shame and sadness, making him more compliant and susceptible to peer pressure.

Mariam had also played a lesser role in the 2009 fight than some of his fellow gang members, Justice Latham found.

"He was meant to stay in the car," she said. "But he knew there was a risk of grave violence occurring."

Mariam was now suffering from stomach problems and post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of his involvement in the crime and had shown a degree of remorse for his actions.

Earlier this year, the man who fired the fatal shot, Mahmoud Mariam, was sentenced to at least five years and nine months' jail for manslaughter.

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I would have thought Bob's death, and the hurt to his families and friends would have been worth more. I cannot believe that judges would let these ,,,,,,,,, out. I believe the prisons are full, so they are not locking anyone up.

I hope Mrs. Knight goes for compensation from these ............... And from the Victims of Crime fund.

How disappointing.

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That's what I don't understand about this whole thing.. they were having a gunfight in a parking lot of a family restaurant trying to kill each other. Just because they hit someone in the crossfire doesn't take away from the fact that, although he wasn't the intended target, they were still shooting to kill each other. Their attitude during the trial indicates that they have absolutely no remorse for the life that they have taken.

How they could even get such light sentence to begin with just boggles the mind.. another example of how the judicial system is fatally flawed in some areas.

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Earlier this year, the man who fired the fatal shot, Mahmoud Mariam, was sentenced to at least five years and nine months' jail for manslaughter.

That's always puzzled me, too. Anyone who fires gunshots in a public place is knowingly taking responsibility that an innocent by-stander could be killed. It's not just something that was an unintended consequence. Just my opinion, but the charge should be murder of an innocent bystander or passerby.

Edited by mita
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By pulling out the gun and pullung the trigger, this cretin was intent on killing someone... that his aim was bad and he killed a completely innocent bystander should not be a "mitigating factor" when passing sentence.

Our legal system really needs an overhaul when one gets only 5 years or so for not only taking one life, but completely destroying those of the people who loved him.


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