Lin family massacre: Robert Xie sentenced to life in jail

By Andrew Koubaridis

Robert Xie leaving King St Supreme Court, Sydney. Photo / Dylan Robinson / News Corp Australia
Robert Xie leaving King St Supreme Court, Sydney. Photo / Dylan Robinson / News Corp Australia

As mass killer Robert Xie begins his life sentences for murder, his wife insists he is innocent and was set-up by police.

Xie will die in jail after he was given five life sentences for the Lin family massacre in 2009.

The 53-year-old showed no emotion as his sentence was handed down at the NSW Supreme Court on Monday.

After three years of hearings, and four Supreme Court trials, Xie was found guilty of the killings in January. The jury found he murdered his brother-in-law Norman Min Lin, 45; Mr Lin's wife Yun Li Lily Lin, 43; her sister Irene Yin Yun Bin, 39; and the Lins' two young boys Henry, 12, and Terry, 9, in their North Epping home in July 2009.

The massacre - the family were bludgeoned to death with a hammer-like object - was one of the most brutal in Australian history.

Outside court, his wife Kathy, who is Min Lin's sister, said the couple wanted to "correct this miscarriage of justice".

"Robert's innocent. He did not kill my brother's family. He is a loving and caring family man," she said.

"He is a good husband, father, son, uncle and friend," she said.

Kathy's support of Xie is in sharp contrast to her parents, who believe he was the killer.

"Robert has a good relationship with my family. He was wrongly charged with a crime he did not commit - he is a scapegoat in this injustice."

Xie would appeal the conviction, she said.

The Crown said Xie was fuelled by jealousy and what he believed was his lowly status within the family.

Justice Elizabeth Fullerton told the packed courtroom of the horrifying scene "awash with blood" that greeted police when they entered the two storey home.

The amount of blood in the bedrooms was not only an "immediate and graphic" illustration of the "murderous assault" which killed them, it also revealed they were killed in the rooms - and in the case of the adults - in their "blood soaked" beds.

Of all five victims, young Terry Lin was the only one not killed instantly, such was the severity of the injuries each family member received to their heads and faces.

A distinct pattern was visible on their battered faces, with a forensic pathologist later determining a hammer-like object was used as the murder weapon.

Justice Fullerton said the murders were "heinous in the extreme" and were "a single episode of brutal and calculated murderous violence".

She was satisfied Xie killed the family with a hammer like object with a rope attached "most likely so he didn't lose control" of it and also to maximise "the degree of force to ensure he killed with speed and efficiency".

Justice Fullerton also said she believed Xie used a key that was cut for his wife Kathy - Min Lin's sister - and used his knowledge of the home he gained as a "trusted family member" to carry out the murders.

She told the court the brutal nature of the murders and "the meticulous planning" that went into them convinced her Xie was a danger to the community and should never be released.

"The offender inflicted extreme violence with the intention that all occupants of the house should die ... "

Feng Qing Zhu and Yang Fei Lin, the parents and grandparents of the slain Lin family, cried as they walked out of the court holding portraits of their loved ones.

Last week the Crown called for back-to-back life sentences for Xie because the Lin family massacre was "criminality of the highest order".

- news.com.au

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 23 May 2017 18:20:02 Processing Time: 784ms