The two men who murdered Daniel McNulty in the company of Harriet Wran will both spend at least 11 years behind bars. Michael Lee, 37, who was Wran’s boyfriend at the time, received a minimum sentence of 13.5 years in jail, while co-accused Lloyd Haines, 31, was given a shorter minimum term of 11 years.
Both men pleaded guilty to killing Mr McNulty, a drug dealer, at his Redfern apartment during a botched robbery.
The pair also robbed and assaulted Mr McNulty’s housemate Brett Fitzgerald.
Wran, 28, the daughter of former New South Wales premier Neville Wran, was recently released from jail after serving two years for being an accessory after the fact to murder, robbery in company and harbouring Lee.
Justice Ian Harrison found that the murder, assault and stabbing of Brett Fitzgerald was not planned.
“The plan to rob emerged in effect at the last minute,” Justice Harrison said.
“The robbery offence escalated quickly and unexpectedly.”
However, Justice Harrison also pointed out that “the offenders certainly had an opportunity to retreat”.
“Rather than to continue with the robbery and to inflict violence and they left the victims seriously wounded with no apparent regard for their welfare.”
Wran’s boyfriend ‘directly responsible’ for killing
Lee, who brought the murder weapon to the unit and fatally stabbed Mr McNulty, was found to be “directly responsible” for the killing.
Haines was also charged with and found guilty of murder because of the concept of “constructive murder”. “Haines went to the premises unarmed. He was not physically in contact with Mr McNulty at all.
“The difference between the respective involvements of the two men should be reflected in the sentences to be imposed upon each of them.”
Lee was sentenced to a 17.5 years in prison and will be eligible for parole in 2029.
Haines was sentenced to 14 years and 8 months jail and will be eligible for parole in 2026.
At her trial in July, Wran was sentenced to four years in jail, but the NSW parole board took into account time she had already spent in jail when it granted her parole.
The court heard Wran was addicted to the drug ice at the time and later told police she was high during the attempted robbery.
Outside the court, Redfern Police Detective Sergeant Brad James said justice had been served in the case.
“It’s a very unfortunate incident which resulted in the death of one individual,” he said.
“Unfortunately it’s a timely reminder — drugs brought all these individuals together, [led to the] loss of life of one and ruined the lives of many and their families.
“Everybody is traumatised, Mr McNulty’s family and through to every involved parties’ families.”
Drug dealer killed in ‘sudden, violent, physical struggle’
On the day of the robbery Wran knocked on the door of the unit gave a name, and showed her face through a window, and Mr McNulty was heard saying to Brett Fitzgerald, another man who was there, “Don’t worry, it’s just a girl”, the court heard.
When he opened the door, Lee and Haines entered behind Wran.
Lee was holding a knife and Haines was wearing a balaclava, and the four men were involved in a “sudden, violent, physical struggle” during which Lee and Haines demanded money and drugs.
Documents tendered to the court said Mr McNulty tried to defend himself with a shoe rack, but he and Mr Fitzgerald were forced into a bedroom where Lee fatally stabbed Mr McNulty in the back, and stabbed Mr Fitzgerald in the stomach and neck.
Haines also hit Mr Fitzgerald in the head with a hammer.
The court heard Wran and Lee had been dating for about two weeks before Mr McNulty was killed.
Wran was not involved in the attack and stayed in another room, the court heard. She dialled triple-0 twice from inside or near the unit, but quickly terminated the calls.