Shooting killer to spend rest of his life behind bars
UPDATE: KEVIN Patrick Hanley will spend the rest of his life behind bars after a jury yesterday found him guilty of murdering Matthew Morcus in Cypress Gardens in 2016.
The jury of seven women and five men deliberated for almost four hours yesterday afternoon before delivering a verdict of guilty to murder, though they were also asked to consider the charge of manslaughter.
Justice Martin Burns sentenced the 71-year-old grandfather to life in jail, describing Hanley's shooting of the 46-year-old man after an earlier altercation between the two men at the Millmerran Bowls Club earlier that day as a "senseless act".
"It may be that you were angry about what happened earlier but it is more likely in my view you felt insulted and resented being called an old man (by the deceased)," he said.
"You raised the rifle, aimed it at Mr Morcus and fired.
"I accept when you stepped in the doorway you had no intention to kill, but I think its probable you reacted to what Mr Morcus said to you, lost control, raised the rifle and fired it."
During the five-day trial in the Supreme Court, the jury heard Hanley arrived at the home armed with a .22 calibre rifle during an argument between Mr Morcus and his girlfriend Rachel Binns.
Under cross examination, Hanley said he never shot Mr Morcus and that the victim had grabbed the gun before it discharged.
A firearms expert had testified that the gun needed 1.3kg of force before it would fire.
Justice Burns, in sentencing Hanley, said he had lied to police and lied in evidence he gave to the court but did express remorse to the victim's father when confronted.
His defence barrister Michael Copley submitted his client had some good aspects given the support of his family throughout the court case.
"Although he has gone to trial...on a moral level my client was remorseful and upset about what he did to his friend's son," Mr Copley said.
In a victim impact statement tendered to the court, Mr Morcus' mother said she could not bring herself to speak Hanley's name.
"I am close to tears just thinking about it," she said.
"The devastation he has caused in taking my son's life, this man needs to be held accountable for his actions."
Matther Morcus' father Alf also tendered a victim impact statement, revealing his health had suffered as a result of the incident between his son and the man he described as "a mate".
"As far as I'm concerned I've got no malice (toward Hanley) I've lost a son and (if sentenced to life) I've lost a good friend in Kevin," he said.
EARLIER: A JURY of seven women and five men have found Kevin Patrick Hanley guilty of murder over the 2016 shooting death of Matthew Morcus near Millmerran.
After five days of hearing from about 30 witnesses the jury took four hours to deliberate on a verdict this afternoon.
The jury were given the option to return a verdict to either the charge of murder of manslaughter.
Hanley, 71, took to the stand last Friday in the Supreme Court claiming he went to the Cypress Gardens address "to frighten" Mr Morcus with a .22 calibre rifle with the safety engaged when he saw an argument between the deceased and another woman.
He told the court Mr Morcus had, approached him, touched the gun, it discharged and that it had fallen on the floor.
A recording made just after the incident was played to the jury where Hanley said: "I didn't mean to kill the c***, I was just gonna shoot him in the leg because that's what he's like, I shot him, I killed him, I didn't mean to do that".
Hanley will be sentenced this afternoon.