Killer trio smile as judge jails them

Three men who pleaded guilty to killing a Sydney baker, but did not admit to firing the fatal shot, have smiled as they were sentenced in the NSW Supreme Court.

Bryce Mark Williams, 25, Christopher William O'Brien, 21, and Thomas McManus, 21, were all sentenced to minimum terms of about five years in the NSW Supreme Court today

They had pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Alfred Lee, 33, on November 12, 2010.

Mr Lee was shot in the head in an attempted robbery during a drug deal but none of the offenders admitted to being the shooter.

As a result, the Crown could not prove beyond reasonable doubt who fired the gun that killed Mr Lee, or that the trio knew there was a gun present.

Justice Derek Price today sentenced Williams to at least five years, nine months' imprisonment, with a maximum term of eight years, one month.

He jailed O'Brien for at least five years, six months, with a maximum term of seven years, 10 months.

McManus, the youngest member of the group, was jailed for at least five years, four months, with a maximum term of seven years, eight months.

The trio exchanged smiles as the sentences were handed down, while Mr Lee's fiancee shook her head and wept.

Justice Price had to sentence each offender on the basis he did not shoot the gun, did not know a gun was present and that the attempted robbery was carried out without an intention to kill or cause grievous bodily harm.

The court heard a $23,000 ecstasy drug deal was arranged between Mr Lee and his associates and the trio, who intended to take the drugs without paying for them.

The two groups met in a lane at Stanmore on the evening of the killing, with shots fired from the offenders' car into Mr Lee's car, killing him instantly.

"Although the offending did not involve an intention to kill or inflict grievous bodily harm upon the deceased, the offenders unsurprisingly contemplated that there was the possibility of some harm," Justice Price said.

Each of the men will be eligible for parole in 2016.

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