National

Man guilty of Sydney barbershop murder

By AAP Newswire

Fredon Laith Botrus has been found to be the murderer who donned a motorcycle helmet and plunged a knife into a customer getting his hair cut at a Sydney barbershop.

Botrus denied being the assailant, but after brief deliberations on Thursday a NSW Supreme Court jury found the 20-year-old guilty of murder.

Alfredo Isho was seated and gowned when he was knifed at Bossley Park's Classico Hair Studio on January 11, 2019, with the blade puncturing his right lung and severing an artery.

CCTV played to the jury showed Mr Isho outside the barbershop moments after the stabbing, pursued by several concerned witnesses.

The young man soon became pale and was rushed to hospital, where he died hours later.

Mr Isho's blood was on the jumper Botrus was wearing when arrested 150 minutes after the stabbing.

And a white motorcycle said to have been used by the assailant was found at his family home, stripped of its petrol tank and fairings, and being cooled down with fans.

Prosecutor Michael Clark said before the stabbing Botrus had received a message that there was "a dog" in the barbershop.

Using a mix of Arabic, English and emoji the message said in effect: "Yo brother there's a dog at the hairdresser's."

After the stabbing, Botrus was said to have messaged the same account back to say "I went and anked him" and "is that bad".

As well as denying being the motorcyclist, Botrus denied authoring the texts found on his phone sent through encrypted application wickr .

His barrister, Sam Pararajasingham, said his client had no motive to murder Mr Isho.

Botrus told police he didn't know who Mr Isho was and said he'd been at home in bed at the time of the attack.

Referring to Mr Isho's blood being found on the jumper Botrus was wearing, Mr Pararajasingham suggested he may have been covering up for the real killer.

He urged jurors to consider how the circumstances in which police came to observe Botrus in the jumper were "consistent with him playing a role other than that of him being the murderer".

Gaps in CCTV coverage meant the true killer had "every opportunity" to dump the bike in the Botrus family's garage, strip it of parts and escape, he said.

The jury has heard several other young men had access to the garage and rode the bike from time to time.

Justice Michael Walton will conduct a sentence hearing at a later date.