It has been reported that Liam Anderson, the 26-year old son of Rose Tattoo lead singer Gary “Angry” Anderson, was bashed to death during a violent altercation at the corner of Pavilion Street and Bridge Road, Queenscliff, in Sydney’s Northern Beaches early this morning.
Police are yet to confirm the identity of the deceased, but Angry Anderson’s management released the following statement:
“With the matter in the hands of NSW Police, the family will not be making any comment at this stage, nor are we as Anderson’s management in a position to offer any comment on their behalf”.
A Detective Inspector told the media outside Manly Police Station that paramedics commenced CPR on the man upon arrival, but could not revive him.
“The 26-year old deceased man died at the scene and his is local”, the officer stated.
He confirmed a 20-year old man known to the deceased was arrested in connection with the killing, describing his suspect’s conduct when approached by police as “extremely violent”.
The man is expected to be charged shortly, although police are yet to determine whether the charge will be murder or manslaughter.
Under section 115 of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002, police can detain an arrested person for up to six hours of investigation time – not including the ‘timeouts’ referred to in section 117 – after which they must either release the person, charge them with an offence or apply to a magistrate for a further six hour investigation period. Longer periods may apply to people who are suspected of terrorism-related offences.
If a person is charged and refused bail at the police station, he or she must be brought before a court as soon as practicable – at which time a bail application can be made.
It has further been reported that witnesses heard the pair yelling, mistaking the altercation for an early morning boot camp.
“I just heard a lot of, say for at least half an hour, moaning”, a witness is reported to have said.
“Then we found out it was obviously him being kicked or stabbed. We should have looked out but we didn’t.”
Murder charges in NSW
The section states:
“Murder shall be taken to have been committed where the act of the accused, or thing by him or her omitted to be done, causing the death charged, was done or omitted with reckless indifference to human life, or with intent to kill or inflict grievous bodily harm upon some person, or done in an attempt to commit, or during or immediately after the commission, by the accused, or some accomplice with him or her, of a crime punishable by imprisonment for life or for 25 years.”
Section 19A of the Act makes clear that:
(1) A person who commits the crime of murder is liable to imprisonment for life.
(2) A person sentenced to imprisonment for life for the crime of murder is to serve that sentence for the term of the person’s natural life.
In other words, life imprisonment in New South Wales means a person must remain in prison until they die, unless they are able to convince a court to impose a non-parole period.
Section 19B now stipulates that a life sentence must be imposed for the murder of a police officer who was on duty, subject to limited exceptions.
To establish the offence of murder, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that a voluntary act or omission of the accused caused death in circumstances where there was:
- an intention to inflict grievous bodily harm, or
- an intention to kill, or
- reckless indifference to human life, or
- an attempt to commit, or during or immediately after the commission of, an offence punishable by at least 25 years imprisonment (known as constructive murder).
If the prosecution is unable to prove the required intent, but an unlawful act or omission nevertheless resulted in the death, a verdict of manslaughter can be returned.
Standard non-parole period for murder
The offence of murder carries a standard non-parole period (SNPP) of 25 years where the deceased is a child or was employed in any one of a number of specified jobs such as a police officer, emergency worker, teacher or health care worker, or 20 years in other cases.
An SNPP is a guidepost or reference point for a sentencing judge when he or she is deciding how long a person must spend behind bars (called the ‘non-parole period’) before being eligible to apply for release from prison to serve the remainder of his or her sentence in the community on parole.
There are a number of defences to murder, the most relevant in the present case is likely to be self-defence.
The defence of self-defence is contained in section 418 of the Act, which states:
(1) A person is not criminally responsible for an offence if the person carries out the conduct constituting the offence in self-defence.
(2) A person carries out conduct in self-defence if and only if the person believes the conduct is necessary:
(a) to defend himself or herself or another person, or
(b) to prevent or terminate the unlawful deprivation of his or her liberty or the liberty of another person, or
(c) to protect property from unlawful taking, destruction, damage or interference, or
(d) to prevent criminal trespass to any land or premises or to remove a person committing any such criminal trespass,
and the conduct is a reasonable response in the circumstances as he or she perceives them
Section 420 excludes the defence where deadly force was used solely to protect property, prevent criminal trespass or remove a person committing criminal trespass.
There have been reports the suspect in the present case may have been suffering from a mental illness or drug induced psychosis, which could give rise to additional defences.