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Moments before Jamie Lefoe was fatally stabbed in a Sydney street, the 22-year-old had fired shots at one of his accused murderers, a court has heard.
The NSW Supreme Court trial of four men accused of his murder was told Mr Lefoe's mother's car was found burnt out in her driveway at Ambarvale, in Sydney's southwest, in January 2011.
Rightly or wrongly, Mr Lefoe believed that one of the accused, Darren Michael Hoskins, 38, was in some way responsible for the torching, Crown Prosecutor Terry Thorpe said in an opening address on Monday.
The 22-year-old went the next day to the home of Sean Robert Sutcliffe, 39, in the nearby suburb of Ruse, to confront him and Hoskins.
But others arrived at the home and things got out of hand sometime after 8.30pm.
The court heard Mr Lefoe drew a firearm and fired a number of shots, with one bullet grazing the back of Darren Troy Moulds' head.
Mr Lefoe fled along the street, Mr Thorpe said.
Sutcliffe, Hoskins, Moulds and a fourth man, Michael Patrick Brown, 23, allegedly chased and set upon him with various weapons, including a baseball bat, a crowbar, a machete and a knife.
Mr Lefoe was tackled to the ground and fatally stabbed in his lower back.
Mr Thorpe said the central issue was whether the four men were acting in self defence.
"The crown case will be that they were not," he told the jury.
"Once the deceased started to run away there was no need for the accused to chase him, tackle him to the ground and inflict a fatal wound."
He said the men could have called police, but instead "they were seeking to exact revenge on the deceased or punish him in some way".
Brown's barrister, John Stratton SC said everything his client did was in defence of himself and others.
"The threat of an armed man doesn't cease the moment he turns and runs away," Mr Sutcliffe said.
Philip Young SC said his client Hoskins had dropped his baseball bat before getting to Mr Lefoe and "redirected" his attention to wresting the gun from his hand.
Sutcliffe's barrister Peter Bodor QC said his client was not involved in the alleged assault.
The trial continues.