Lin family killer Robert Xie, who murdered five members of his family, has been given five life sentences without the possibility of parole, while his wife says he is innocent and a “scapegoat” for the crimes.
Xie, now 53, bludgeoned to death members of his extended family — his brother-in-law Min Lin, Min Lin’s wife “Lily”, their children Henry and Terry, and Lily’s sister Irene Lin — at their Epping home in July 2009.
There were tears from the Lin family grandparents as Justice Elizabeth Fullerton described the killings as “blood soaked”.
“The bedrooms in which the deceased were found were awash with shed blood,” Justice Fullerton said, calling the crime a “murderous assault”.
“[Xie’s] intention that all of the occupants should die despite the active resistance offered by Terry Lin, the youngest member of the family,” she said.
“The commission of a series of intentional and brutal killings of five members of a family… in the early hours of the morning whilst they were sleeping or being roused from sleep, in a single episode of brutal and calculated murderous violence, is a course of offending that can only be described as heinous in the extreme.”
The guilty verdict was a long time coming — four trials have been held since 2014.
The jury was hung in the third trial while new evidence and a sick judge saw the first two juries discharged.
Wife Kathy says Xie is innocent
Xie’s wife, Kathy — sister to the murdered Lily — stood by her husband during the trial and provided him with an alibi, saying he was at home in bed with her when the murders took place.
Justice Fullerton said the prosecution case disproved this alibi.
Outside the court, a tearful Kathy Lin said her husband was innocent and she would be appealing his conviction.
She referred to her brother-in-law Min Lin as her brother.
“We want the police to tell us what happened in my brother’s family, but he was wrongly charged — the crime he did not commit. He is a scapegoat in this.”
Xie has maintained he was innocent throughout all of the trials.
Lian Bin “Robert” Xie was born in China and emigrated to Australia in 1999, the judge told the court.
Justice Fullerton said Xie was qualified as a ear, nose and throat specialist in China, had run a restaurant in Melbourne when he arrived in Australia but had not had employment since.
Xie portrayed little emotion as the sentence was handed down.
Outside the court, police thanked the jury for “careful deliberations” of the guilty verdict.
“I would like to thank, my heartfelt thanks to the Lin family survivors for their strength and their dignity throughout this seven-year ordeal,” Detective Chief Inspector Chris Olen from the Homicide Squad said.