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Accessory after the fact to murder in New South Wales – Crime



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Sydney woman, Hannah Quinn, has avoided jail time for her
involvement in the killing of a man with a samurai sword during a
failed home invasion and instead been sentenced to a two-year
community corrections order after being found guilty as an
accessory after the fact to manslaughter.

In Sydney 2018, Ms Quinn was at her boyfriend Blake Davis’
house in Forest Lodge when an aspiring rapper, Jett McKee, broke
into the property and attempted to rob them.

Mr Davis was knocked unconscious with knuckledusters by the
rapper and woke to a screaming Ms Quinn.

He then ran outside, and using a Samurai sword, struck Mr
McKee’s head.

Around two months ago, Mr Davis was sentenced to a maximum
five years and three months jail time for the crime with a
non-parole period of two years and nine months, while Ms Quinn was
cleared of the murder.

Nevertheless, due to her “temporarily evading” police
after the incident, she was found guilty of acting as accessory
after the fact to 
manslaughter
.

COURT RULES MS QUINN’S ACTION OF EVADING POLICE AS
“TOWARDS THE LOWER END OF CRIMINALITY” AND “SENSE OF
MISGUIDED LOYALTY” TO BOYFRIEND

On Friday 7th May 2021, Ms Quinn faced
Darlinghurst Supreme Court where Justice Natalie Adams handed the
26-year-old woman a two-year 
community corrections order
 with the condition she receive
treatment for her mental health issues.

Leading up to this, the court heard the granny flat of Ms
Quinn’s boyfriend had been stormed by Mr McKee, who used an
imitation pistol and a knuckle duster to attack the couple before
escaping the scene.

As he absconded, he grabbed Ms Quinn’s handbag, who then
went on to chase the rapper down the street.

It wasn’t long, however, before her boyfriend caught up to
them, at which point he smashed the rapper’s skull with the
Samurai sword.

From here, it was heard the pair became panicked and took off in
haste from their inner-city home.

They paid cash to stay at various hotels across Sydney before
finally giving themselves up to police a few days later – a
move which defence barrister, Tom Hughes, told the court had been
“to take stock of the situation” rather than to evade
justice.

Meanwhile, the court also heard the pair were
“small-time” drug dealers and used cannabis on a daily
basis, however neither had a history of violence or crime.

In sentencing, Justice Adams ruled Ms Quinn’s action in
evading police following Mr McKee’s as 
“towards the lower end of criminality”
.

She added that the defendant had acted out a “sense of
misguided loyalty and emotional attachment to Mr Davis”.

Justice Adams discarded the prosecutor’s case that Ms Quinn
was looking to evade police entirely.

She also rejected the contention that when Ms Quinn cleaned her
boyfriend’s head wound after he was punched by rapper using the
knuckle duster, that it was an attempt to conceal evidence.

“Nothing that Quinn did in that time was to avoid
apprehension indefinitely – they did not leave Sydney, let
alone NSW,” Justice Adams said.

“Ms Quinn made no effort to conceal identity and she stuck
with her boyfriend at that time out of loyalty”.

Furthermore, Justice Adams said she was not satisfied
beyond a reasonable doubt that Ms Quinn knew Mr McKee was dead
given he walked almost 80 metres from the place where he was
fatally struck before eventually collapsing.

“I am unable to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that
she knew he was dead when she fled the scene,” she said.

Justice Adams added her belief that Quinn had not shown remorse
for her actions following the attack.

“Although I am satisfied she has been profoundly affected,
I am not satisfied she is remorseful.”

ACTING AS ACCESSORY AFTER THE FACT TO MURDER

In NSW, 
acting as accessory after the fact to
murder
 etc is against the law.

Put simply, acting as “accessory after the fact”
refers to conduct that amounts to knowingly providing assistance to
the person who committed the murder or manslaughter (the principal
offender) or to a person who aided or abetted the principal
offender.

In NSW, the law on acting as accessory after the fact to murder
etc is outlined in 
section 349 of the Crimes Act 1900
, which
prescribes a maximum penalty of up to 25 years in jail for an
offence.

To be found guilty to a charge of accessory after the fact to
murder, each of the following must be proven:

  • That a person other than you committed the crime of murder
    (known as the “principal offender”); and

  • You are knowingly assisted the principal offender after the
    crime was committed; and

  • At the time of this assistance, you were aware of all the
    circumstances that gave rise to the precise offence committed by
    the principal offender; and

  • With that knowledge, you gave assistance so that the principal
    offender could escape arrest, trial or punishment for the crime of
    murder.



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