News

Lismore man jailed over killing

FOUR people have been found guilty and one of them has been jailed over their involvement in the 2008 murder of Gold Coast drug dealer Saaid Zaiter.

Rick Humphries, formerly of Goonellabah, was jailed for six years with a non-parole period of three years and nine months for the manslaughter of Zaiter at the Tweed Heritage Caravan Park at Chinderah on December 16.

He will be eligible for release next September.

Humphries's co-accused Rodney White, Todd Serone and White's former girlfriend Jessica Birkensleigh were found guilty by the 12-person jury on Monday afternoon after deliberating the evidence for three days.

Yesterday Birkensleigh told the court she was involved in an 11-month relationship with White, who is charged with Zaiter's murder.

She said despite White being much older than herself, she was attracted to him because he was a drug dealer.

"It was definitely the lifestyle that attracted me to Rodney."

Birkensleigh said White supplied her with drugs daily but she never realised she had a drug problem.

"On a daily basis I would take drugs ... speed and pot," she said.

"Being in custody and having my head clear I realised how I was heavily addicted to drugs."

Birkensleigh will be sentenced by Judge Hume in the Lismore Supreme Court tomorrow at 2pm on the charge of being an accessory before the fact of robbery.

Earlier in the eight-week trial Judge Hume directed the jury to find Birkensleigh not guilty on the charge of being an accessory after the fact of murder.

A date for the sentencing of White and Serone is still to be set.

Topics:  gold coast, lismore, murder




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