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Son found guilty of murder

as father tries to take the blame

Leigh Ritchie
February 14, 2011

A 21-year-old man has been found guilty of murder despite his father’s efforts to take the blame for his son’s crime.

Kenneth John Smith was yesterday found guilty over the murder of 23-year-old Jarrad Fitzpatrick in Bunbury more than one year ago.

His parents, Colin John Smith, 41, and mother Tanya Louise Smith, 39, were found guilty on a lesser charge of manslaughter for their involvement in the fatal attack.

The court heard the three family members attacked Mr Fitzpatrick as he tried to leave the home of Kenneth’s ex-girlfriend, Renee Kipling, after midnight on November 28, 2009.

The court also heard Colin Smith tried to take the blame for his son, claiming he stabbed Mr Fitzpatrick when the pair were falling and grappling.

State prosecutor Dave Dempster said the Smiths had been in a “furious rage” after Kenneth had several arguments with Miss Kipling.

He said after an escalating phone argument between the pair, the Smiths drove to Miss Kipling’s home to cause her harm.

Arriving about 12.15am the family confronted Mr Fitzpatrick who was stabbed in the upper chest with a flick-knife as he walked to his car.

According to police Mr Fitzpatrick was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

After a five-day trial in the Bunbury Supreme Court a jury found it was Kenneth who dealt the fatal blow to Mr Fitzpatrick who suffered a 7.5cm gash to his upper chest and was dead within minutes.

Speaking outside the court today, Mr Fitzpatrick’s mother said the trial had been a gruelling experience which no parent should have to go through.

All three family members will face Perth Supreme Court for sentencing on May 16.

Рthe Bunbury Mail  

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