TWO men accused of murdering Wickham identity Robbie Parry picked the small-time cannabis dealer for a "drug rip" home invasion because he was an "easy target" who was deaf in one ear and kept the front door open, court documents state.
The alleged gunman Daniel Petryk and his co-accused Jesse Nikolovski, both 23, appeared in Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday where they were committed to stand trial for murder and robbery in company causing grievous bodily harm.
The pair are accused of stealing $50 worth of cannabis, a smoking pipe and some cigarettes when they stormed Mr Parry's Dickson Street home about 3am on March 7 last year.
According to court documents, detectives allege Mr Petryk planned, acquired a loaded firearm and led the "drug rip" home invasion that ended in Mr Parry's death.
"Mr Parry, who had previously supplied cannabis to Mr Petryk's family, was regarded by Mr Petryk as an "easy target" being that he was deaf and stayed up at night with the front door open," a police statement of facts says.
Police allege Mr Petryk was accompanied by Mr Nikolovski, who drove his own vehicle, and parked a block away in Grey Street before the pair entered the home with their faces covered, court documents state.
Police allege Mr Petryk was armed with a shortened .22 calibre rifle and made a demand for drugs and cash before "immediately" shooting Mr Parry in the stomach.
Mr Petryk is then accused of "ransacking" Mr Parry's bedroom, stealing $50 worth of cannabis, a cannabis smoking pipe and cigarettes, with a total value of about $100. Mr Parry's elderly and ill father came out of his bedroom a short time later and saw his son on the ground, court documents state.
Mr Petryk is then alleged to have pointed the firearm at the older Mr Parry before repeating his demands for drugs and cash. The men are then alleged to have fled the home. Mr Petryk, of Windale, appeared in court via audio visual link from Long Bay Correctional Centre on Wednesday, not long after Mr Nikolovski, of Mayfield, had appeared on the screen from Cessnock Correctional Centre.
Court documents allege Mr Petryk is the principle offender in the murder, while Mr Nikolovski is charged by reason of joint criminal enterprise that he was "present during the murder and able to offer assistance where required".
The pair will next appear in Sydney Supreme Court on December 2 to set a trial date in Newcastle Supreme Court sometime next year.
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions on Wednesday withdrew a charge of special aggravated enter dwelling with intent against both men.
Another six offences, allegedly committed on the night of Mr Parry's murder, including demanding property with menaces, larceny and firearm offences, will serve as back-up charges.