Xie to spend life behind bars

CONVICTED Epping murderer Robert Xie will spend the rest of his life behind bars for bludgeoning to death his two young nephews and three other relatives in their bedrooms.

Justice Elizabeth Fullerton on Monday gave 53 year old Xie five life sentences for the murders of his Epping newsagent brother-in-law Min Lin, 45, his wife Lily, 43, the couple’s sons Henry, 12, and Terry, 9, and Lily’s sister Irene, 39.

All five victims suffered horrific head injuries when they were attacked with a hammer-like object attached to a rope in the bedrooms of their Sydney home on July 18, 2009.

Justice Fullerton today described the victim’s bedrooms as being spattered with “shed blood”.

“Lily Lin was struck at least five times with the hammer-like object to her face and head,” she said.

Justice Fullerton said Xie’s nephews were also assaulted with a similar object, with blood patterns suggesting little Terry had offered some resistance to the attack.

“Only Terry Lin was likely to have survived for any time after the injuries were inflicted,” she said.

Prosecutor Tanya Smith earlier submitted that the only appropriate sentence would be five life terms, and said the killings constituted criminality of the highest order.

The Crown had contended Xie was fuelled by resentment and humiliation at his perceived “inferior” status in the extended family.

Xie has maintained his innocence, despite a New South Wales Supreme Court jury finding him guilty last month after a six-month trial.

His wife Cathy Min Lin’s sister supported him throughout the case and testified that he was at home in bed with her at the time of the murders.