Man who shot trucker Bob Knight jailed
Killed ... Bob Knight. Photo: Melissa Adams
A Sydney man who killed Canberra truck driver Bob Knight with a stray bullet and showed not the ''slightest remorse'' will spend at least five years and nine months in jail, a judge has ruled.
Justice Megan Latham said Mahmoud Mariam, 28, was engaged in a ''mindless display of violence'' in a carpark gunfight when Mr Knight drove past at Milperra, in Sydney's south-west, in 2009.
''He wears his contempt for the law as a badge of honour,'' Justice Latham told the NSW Supreme Court as she sentenced Mariam yesterday. She sent Mariam to jail for a maximum of seven years and nine months, noting his likelihood of rehabilitation was ''moderate at best''. ''The offender was a mature adult who consciously and arrogantly engaged in a mindless display of violence in the presence of much younger men,'' the judge said.
''The offender himself has at no stage expressed the slightest remorse for the death of Mr Knight,'' she said. Mariam will be eligible for parole in April 2016.
Mr Knight's family welcomed Mariam's sentence, but criticised him for appearing to laugh and joke with his relatives after it was handed down.
''This was not a tragic accident as these criminals would like you all to think,'' Mr Knight's daughter Catherine said outside the court.
''These people set out on the night of June 25, 2009, with guns blazing, to blow each other away.
''Stupid idiots couldn't even get that right … the wrong person died.''
Justice Latham also sentenced three brothers, who cannot be named as they were juveniles at the time, for their involvement in the gunfight between two groups of young men at a KFC car park on June 25, 2009. The fight was arranged after one of the brothers, identified as HEK, punched another youth at a shopping centre.
Eleven men from opposing groups met at the carpark later that day, and a pistol and a rifle were fired.
Mr Knight, 66, was driving along Milperra Road when he was hit in the head by a stray bullet allegedly fired by Mariam.
The 28-year-old was charged with murder along with HEK, 20, and another man, Adel Elkobaili, 21, on the basis that all three were involved in a joint criminal enterprise with the objective of causing grievous bodily harm. After a three-month trial, all three were cleared of murder, but Mariam was found guilty of manslaughter and affray, and HEK was found guilty of affray and property damage.
Mr Elkobaili was cleared of all charges.
HEK's two younger brothers, who were aged 15 and 16 at the time of the incident, pleaded guilty to affray earlier this year.
Sentencing the four men yesterday, Justice Latham condemned the level of violence meted out by ''11 young men in a public place … for the sole purpose of a settling a score that seems to have arisen from a petty argument''. A ''despicable display of male aggression'' had led to the death of an innocent bystander, she said.
Justice Latham sentenced HEK to a minimum of two years and five months' jail, saying he wasn't so young that he couldn't appreciate the possibility of serious injury arising from the clash.
He will be eligible for parole in 11 days, on September 10.
Justice Latham accepted HEK's two younger brothers had not known loaded firearms were being taken to the fight and had not engaged in violence. She placed them on three-year good behaviour bonds. AAP