Sydney millionaire property developer Ron Medich has been found guilty of directing the contract shooting murder of a business enemy almost nine years ago and intimidating his widow.
The 70-year-old pleaded not guilty to murdering Michael McGurk, 45, in September 2009 and to intimidating his widow, Kimberley McGurk, the following year.
A NSW Supreme Court jury was discharged in April 2017 after failing to reach verdicts but on Monday a second jury found Medich guilty of both charges.
Medich appeared shell-shocked at the verdicts which came after the 11-men jury had deliberated for five-and-half days.
The millionaire, who’d been on bail for all his trial, was taken into custody and, before being led away by prison officers, handed over his valuables to his barrister Winston Terracini SC.
Mr McGurk was shot in the head outside his north shore Sydney home in Cremorne after he pulled up in his car with a takeaway meal he had just bought for his family.
Star crown witness Lucky Gattellari testified that his former close friend Medich had become very angry about his ongoing and protracted legal battles with Mr McGurk, involving millions of dollars.
Medich told him he had been made a “laughing stock in the eastern suburbs”, that Mr McGurk was ruining his reputation and he wanted Gattellari to find someone “to take care of this guy”.
Gattellari said he asked Medich if he was sure about the murder, saying “there’s no going back”, and he replied: “I am sure. I want him done.”
Gattellari testified that he twice went to Medich’s Point Piper home when the developer handed him bags containing $250,000 in cash.
Gattellari’s driver, Senad Kaminic, testified that he overheard Medich talking about his rival saying: “If I had a gun I would kill him.”
But the defence attacked the credibility of Gattellari describing the former boxing champion as “scum”, “a spiv”, a “wicked man” and “a rip-off merchant” and suggesting he was the sole organiser of the murder.
Mr Terracini told the jurors he had told them so many lies it was impossible to determine when he was lying and when he was telling the truth.
The Crown acknowledged Gattellari “is never going to be awarded Australian of the Year” and was a man prepared to bend the rules – exactly the type of man you would want to arrange a murder and intimidation.
Gattellari received a 60 per cent discount on his sentence after admitting his role in the murder and helping authorities, while three other men have been jailed for their roles.