A man charged over the fatal shooting of Sydney police
officer Bill Crews has said he agreed to plead guilty to
manslaughter because he was under "extreme stress", a court
Earlier this year, Philip Nguyen, 55, pleaded guilty to
manslaughter and to wounding the trainee detective with
intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
However, he now wants to change his pleas to not guilty,
saying he was acting in self-defence at the time.
"I was under extreme stress when I agreed to the guilty
plea," Nguyen told the NSW Supreme Court today.
Speaking through an interpreter, Nguyen said he sacked his
barrister after she advised him to plead guilty to
"I did not commit that crime. I did not agree to that,"
Constable William Crews, a 25-year-old trainee detective,
died after he was shot during a drug search in a basement
carpark at Bankstown in Sydney's southwest on September 8,
Nguyen did not fire the fatal shot but he was charged with
manslaughter on the grounds of "excessive self-defence".
The crown has alleged Nguyen, a drug dealer, produced a
firearm during the raid and fired it, hitting Const Crews in
The constable fired three shots in return before a fellow
detective fired once, accidentally shooting the constable in
Nguyen gave evidence he had purchased a gun to protect
himself after being robbed and assaulted.
He said he didn't know the men who entered his garage on the
day of the incident were police.
"When two to three people are pointing guns at me, I had to
draw my gun out for self defence," he said, adding, "I would
say police fired first".
Crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi, QC, said there was evidence
that Nguyen fired the first shot and that Nguyen's second
barrister had told him that.
"He (also) explained to you a jury would not have much
sympathy for you because you were a drug dealer and you had
bought a gun to protect yourself," Mr Tedeschi said.
"It's possible he said so," Nguyen replied.
Earlier, the court heard Nguyen had a stroke two weeks ago,
could not communicate properly and was having memory
However, his solicitor, Ho Ledinh, said he was well enough to
take the stand.
The hearing continues.