Kiwi family's three-year wait for justice

By Jimmy Ellingham

Andy Marshall was fatally hurt when he was thrown through the window of a West Australian bar in 2011. Photo / NZ Herald
Andy Marshall was fatally hurt when he was thrown through the window of a West Australian bar in 2011. Photo / NZ Herald

The parents of a New Zealand musician pushed to his death through a Perth pub window are almost at the end of a three-year wait for their son's killer to be brought to justice.

Andy Marshall was talking to a woman on evening in May 2011 when Stefan Pahia Schmidt shoved him through a full-length second-storey glass window at Cottesloe's Ocean Bach Hotel.

Mr Marshall, who fell five metres to the concrete path below, is the cousin of Feilding farmer Scott Guy who was shot dead at the end of his driveway in July 2010.

Schmidt was found guilty of murder at a 2012 trial but the conviction was overturned on appeal. His re-trial before a judge, with no jury, began last week and wrapped up on Monday at Western Australia's Supreme Court.

Justice John McKechnie reserved his decision but Mr Marshall's father Alan Marshall today told APNZ the judge indicated he would deliver his verdict soon.

Because of this Mr Marshall and his wife Wendy have remained in Perth, waiting.

At the beginning of his re-trial Schmidt pleaded guilty to Andy Marshall's manslaughter, so he will be sentenced on either the manslaughter or murder charge depending on the judge's decision.

Alan Marshall said his family had been told that would happen as soon as the murder verdict was delivered.

Until then, the Marshalls were filling in time catching up with people and writing victim impact statements.

"From the community point of view over here we try to emphasise the need for the court to take these sorts of things seriously and give a clear message about violence," he said.

The Marshalls, who live in Hawkes Bay, had been well looked after by Australian victim support workers and had some family members on hand during the re-trial.

Mrs Marshall's sister Jo Guy was in court with them, but had since flown home, while Alan Marshall's brother Brian Marshall also joined from his native Brisbane.

Hearing about their 29-year-old son's final moments was just as hard second time around, Alan Marshall said.

"It was horrible really. There's nothing really nice about it. We did feel like we were just plunged back into the horror of it all and it just sort of washes over you.

"The details get poured over every day, all the details of Andy's death ... It's pretty horrific."

This time there was more emphasis on forensic evidence and the prosecutors also produced more evidence from Schmidt's "callous remarks" in text messages, Mr Marshall said.

Schmidt, who after the first trial was jailed for at least 14 years, has never denied pushing Andy Marshall, but insisted he did not want to kill him.

The West Australian newspaper reported that Schmidt was angry after an argument with a friend. When he saw Mr Marshall talking to a woman he exploded, swearing at him and pushing him.

Schmidt then left the scene, saying he was fearful everyone at the pub would turn on him. The former bouncer, who had bikie gang connections and weighed about 150kg at the time, had taken ecstasy and smoked cannabis that day.

Mr Marshall was a drummer in a band called Rich Widow and would have turned 32 in December.

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a4 at 19 Sep 2014 06:46:52 Processing Time: 1282ms