HE has shown no remorse, still maintains his innocence and on Friday, as he was being sentenced to a maximum 26 years behind bars, a wry smile spread across Daniel Petryk's face.
Petryk, who snuck into Robert Parry’s Wickham home in March, 2015, and shot him in the stomach at close range with a .22 shortened single-shot firearm, was sentenced to a non-parole period of 19 years and six months in Newcastle Supreme Court on Friday.
The 25-year-old from Windale, who was found guilty last year of murder and armed robbery after a five-week trial, will be 43 when he first becomes eligible for parole. Mr Parry was 41.
“Hopefully those 26 years in that jail cell might wipe the smile he had on his face up there,” Mr Parry’s nephew, Ashley Clarke, said outside Newcastle Supreme Court on Friday.
“For someone to do what he did ... and to have a smile on his face when he gets 26 years is quite pathetic.”
Looking for an easy target to commit a drug-rip home invasion before fleeing to Queensland after breaching his parole, Petryk recruited armed robber Jesse Nikolovski and a female to help him rob Mr Parry, a well-known Wickham identity who was deaf in one ear and left his front door unlocked. It was about 3am on March 7, 2015, when Petryk, a mask covering his face, snuck into Mr Parry’s Dickson Street home in search of drugs and cash.
But when Mr Parry appeared in the lounge room, raised a can of drink above his head and told the trio to “f--- off out of his house”, Petryk shot him once in the stomach at close range.
Mr Parry dropped to the ground and Petryk stepped over him and went into his bedroom where he stole $50 worth of cannabis and cigarettes.
“That a man could be killed for such property is deeply shocking,” Justice Helen Wilson said during sentencing on Friday.
Petryk then threatened Mr Parry’s elderly father, Alan Parry, telling him “you’re next”. The trio fled to Nikolovski’s car where Petryk told the others Mr Parry “wouldn’t die”.
With no physical evidence tying Petryk to the scene, the prosecution case rested on the shoulders of a woman who said she was with Petryk and Nikolovski, 24, of Mayfield, during the home invasion.
The witness, who cannot be identified, told the jury she was armed with an axe when she snuck into the home behind Petryk and watched as he pulled the trigger and Mr Parry fell to the ground.
Petryk had maintained he wasn't there that night.
But the woman's evidence sunk him and wholly exonerated Nikolovski on the murder charge, with the woman telling the court Nikolovski didn't know the firearm Petryk was carrying was loaded.
That evidence led to Justice Wilson giving the jury a directed verdict of not guilty in relation to the murder charge against Nikolovski.
Nikolovski then pleaded guilty to armed robbery in relation to the home invasion at Mr Parry’s house and disappeared from the court dock.
Nikolovski will be sentenced on May 21.
But that jail term might not begin until December, 2020, when he is eligible for parole for a string of armed robberies he committed on Sydney pubs and clubs in the wake of Mr Parry’s murder.
Mr Clarke said it was a relief that his uncle’s murderer had been dealt with.
"We are relieved that it is finally over for one of them and we're quite happy with 26 years,” Mr Clarke said.
"[Robert] was a very generous, well-loved individual. “He would do anything for anyone and for this to happen to such a great member of the community is very distressing for everyone. Over something so pathetic.
“[The jail term] isn't going to bring Rob back, but at least it gives us some faith in the justice system.”
Hopefully those 26 years in that jail cell might wipe the smile he had on his face up there.Robert Parry's nephew, Ashley Clarke