A Brisbane financial planner who bashed his top client to death with a hammer during a heated business meeting has been found guilty of murder.
Trung The Ma, 35, admitted killing Huegio Bonham in 2014, but argued due to his poor mental health at the time, coupled with his 63-year-old client’s attempt to blackmail him, he should be found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.
The jury disagreed, and the Brisbane Supreme Court on Friday found Ma guilty of murdering Mr Bonham.
Crown prosecutor Michael Lehane said Ma was a talented fraudster who had silenced his client of four years after Mr Bonham had discovered Ma had stolen $706,000 from him.
Ma, a former Commonwealth Back employee, went to Mr Bonham’s Gold Coast home after the spiritual guru called saying he wished to withdraw money from his investments.
The pair argued, according to Ma, before he exploded and struck Mr Bonham in the head with the hammer three times.
Ma told the court that although he remembered committing the crime, the room slowed and he was outside himself as he struck Mr Bonham.
He then wrapped the body in a sleeping bag before depositing it in an abandoned warehouse and collecting his wife from work.
The following day, after he had finished work, he collected Mr Bonham’s body and moved it to an Indooroopilly storage unit.
The case will return to court on October 24.