The girlfriend of Sydney siege gunman Man Haron Monis has been found guilty of murdering his ex-wife.
Amirah Droudis stood trial in the New South Wales Supreme Court accused of killing the woman at a unit block in Werrington in April 2013.
The victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was stabbed 18 times before being doused in petrol and set alight.
Monis was charged with being an accessory to murder and was out on bail when he was killed at the end of the Lindt cafe siege in December 2014.
Following a judge-only trial, Justice Peter Johnson said he was satisfied that Monis planned the murder and Droudis carried it out.
‘Hot-blooded, frenzied murder’ was amateur: judge
Justice Johnson rejected suggestions Monis may have paid someone else to kill his ex-wife, saying he did not have the financial means and that it was a “hot-blooded” murder likely to have been carried out by an amateur killer.
“The killing involved a frenzied knife attack with multiple stab wounds being inflicted to the body of the victim, followed by the gratuitous use of fire,” Judge Johnson said.
“This crime had the hallmarks of a frenzied attack by an angry amateur killer.”
Justice Johnson also said while Monis had previously asked members of the Rebels bikie gang to murder his ex-wife, his requests were not taken seriously and he did not have the money to pay for a professional killing.
He said Droudis adopted extreme religious and political beliefs after becoming involved in a relationship with Monis in 2006.
He said she “adopted uncritically Monis’ view of the world with its extreme and perverse features” and that she was “enthralled” by him.
During the trial, an eyewitness who lived in the building told the court he saw a woman in “black, loose Middle Eastern dress” repeatedly stabbing the victim with a big knife before setting her on fire.
Prosecutors argued Monis and his ex-wife were involved in a family dispute before her death and that he “brainwashed” Droudis into killing her.
The court heard Monis was the “mastermind” behind the murder and that Droudis was “besotted” with him.
Droudis’ defence argued the case against her was entirely circumstantial and that three eyewitnesses later failed to identify her.
A friend of the victim, asked to be known only as Sonia, said she had tears of joy when the guilty verdict was announced and thanked everyone involved.
“The day that she died, everyone’s life changed forever,” Sonia said.
“I was not expecting something like this to happen.
“I want her to get the death penalty, if we ever had one in this country.”
She also said that it was like Monis had “gotten away with murder”.