Family of slain man tell of void in their lives

JAMES ‘‘Jimmy’’ Nolan’s family is still coming to grips with his death 18 months after he was shot in the chest from close range at Bolton Point, the Newcastle Supreme Court heard yesterday.

Patrick Nolan, James’s brother, wrote a victim impact statement that was presented to the court yesterday where he told of the pain the family has endured and the void that remains in their lives.

‘‘Life as we knew it will never be the same for any of us,’’ the statement said.

‘‘Saturday March 19, 2011, has destroyed our family forever.’’

It was on that evening that James and Patrick attended the home of Martin Booth and Sabina Pincovai in Leumeah Place, Bolton Point, a statement of facts said.

Text messages about drugs, money and debts were exchanged between a number of people in the 48 hours before the shooting with Booth, 38, allegedly assaulting a man with a baton in the early hours of March 19, the statement said.

Messages, phone calls and text messages continued to be relayed between Booth and members of the Nolan family with Patrick Nolan often acting as a messenger.

The Nolan brothers attended the home at 8.45pm when Booth shot Mr Nolan in the chest with a sawn-off shotgun.

Witnesses gave conflicting versions of  the shooting. 

Booth previously pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of excessive self-defence.

He and Pincovai fled after the shooting with Booth later telling police, ‘‘It was self-defence, they threatened me missus’’, and ‘‘I got nothing to worry about, I did what I had to do, they ran in on me’’.

James Nolan’s body was found in the doorway of the home. He was wearing gloves, dark clothing, a dark cap and had a bandanna around his throat, the statement of facts said.

Justice Megan Latham will sentence Booth on Friday. Pincovai, 28, was previously placed on a good behaviour bond for concealing a serious offence.

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