| 15.1°C Dublin

Not guilty Three Irish men acquitted of attempted murder of former police officer in Australia

Jurors also found the men not guilty of four other charges over the incident at Point Cook near Melbourne in 2019 which left Said Morgan with severe head injuries

Close

 Said Morgan was left with severe head injuries. 

Said Morgan was left with severe head injuries. 

Said Morgan was left with severe head injuries. 

Three Irish men acquitted of the attempted murder of a former police officer in Australia burst into celebration, shook hands and hugged their legal team after the jury found them not guilty. 

At the direction of Justice Paul Coghlan, Stephen Tahaney, Jack Harvey and Mark Dixon all walked free after the Victorian Supreme Court jury verdict.

Jurors also found the men not guilty of four other charges including recklessly and intentionally causing serious injury over the incident at Point Cook near Melbourne in 2019 which left Said Morgan with severe head injuries.

The three men were living in Point Cook after moving there in recent years when Said Morgan being shot in the head outside the home of a long-time friend, who had asked him for help protecting his family after a business deal soured.

The shooting, which the trio said was an act of self-defence, was the culmination of a business dispute between Mr Tahaney and a man called Daniel Saddik.

It's admitted that Tahaney pulled the trigger, in self-defence while Dixon and Harvey are alleged to have been party to an agreement to harm Mr Morgan, knowing it was probable he would be killed.

At an earlier hearing, Defence barrister Julie Condon QC, who was representing Mr Tahaney, said there was no dispute that her client had shot Mr Morgan with his own gun.

"He did so with a lawful excuse and that lawful excuse was self-defence," she said.

Ms Condon described the former detective as "a person who used violence to resolve conflict" and said it was "ingrained in his DNA".

Mr Morgan, who is also known as Sid, was previously a detective with the NSW Police Force but his service came to a controversial end after he was acquitted of murdering his brother-in-law in 1995.

The court heard that Mr Morgan, who was a serving police member at the time, shot the man six times in the head after he had been charged with child sex offences.

Before the shooting in February 2019, Mr Morgan was contacted by his childhood friend, Daniel Saddik.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Mr Saddik had started a property maintenance business with one of the accused, Mr Tahaney, who had provided cash to the operation.

But when the arrangement had soured over money, Mr Saddik pleaded with Mr Morgan, his oldest friend, for help.

Things escalated late on February 24, 2019 when Mr Tahaney asked to meet Mr Morgan.

Mr Morgan told him: "You come to Dan's house and bring whatever and whoever you want. Word of advice though, if you bring someone … tell them to kiss their family goodbye."

The jury heard that Mr Morgan then sat in a chair in his friend's driveway with a black bag.

He told Mr Saddik's wife that, "There's going to be a bloodbath tonight."

CCTV footage played in court showed three men drive and get out of the car after being approached by Mr Morgan.

Prosecutor Patrick Bourke says witnesses saw one of the men hitting Mr Morgan with a hammer while another saw two men punching and kicking another man.

A witness saw one of the men go back to the car, point a gun out the window and fire a single shot, which struck Mr Morgan in the head.

Mr Morgan did not give evidence in the trial as he has no memory of the incident.

The three accused men were later seen on security footage at a service station buying garbage bags, bleach and toilet paper.

Defence barrister Geoffrey Steward, representing Mark Dixon, told the court that Mr Morgan's rage had been "stoked" by his friend.

Mr Steward said it would be for the jury to determine if Mr Morgan was in a "white hot rage, hell bent on effecting violence or even killing those who he believed had wronged" Mr Saddik.

"He was in a state of white-hot rage, hell-bent on affecting violence or even killing those who he believed had wronged his brother, not by blood, but by affection," Mr Steward said.

"An issue in this trial is what Sid Morgan was capable of doing when in such a state.

"You've heard how he previously shot his brother-in-law six times in a state of rage.

"The last time he'd been in such a rage was when he killed a man."

Harvey's barrister Lee Ristivojevic said the jury would leave the case wondering why her client had even been charged, saying he didn't know Mr Morgan before that night and was never part of any agreement.

At the direction of Justice Paul Coghlan, the men sat silent as they learned they had been acquitted.

"In not very long you'll be able to simply leave," the judge told them.

Moments after he left the bench, the trio burst into celebration, shaking hands and hugging their legal team.

"Thanks a million Julie," one said to defence lawyer, Julie Condon QC.

"Pleasure," she said.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Top Videos





Privacy