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NSW: Three brothers admit killing man in brawl

By Margaret Scheikowski
30 Jan 2009 4:38 PM

SYDNEY, Jan 30 AAP - A reprimand about noise on a suburban Sydney street led to a brawl in which a teenager knifed a man to death, as the boy's brothers lay injured on the ground.

Samurai swords, knives and other weapons were produced during the vicious fight that erupted after construction worker Sione Matavesi told two of the brothers to "keep it down".

Soon after, the 22-year-old was dead, having been stabbed in the back with such force that the knife's handle broke off.

In the NSW Supreme Court on Friday, the three brothers pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Matavesi in January 2007 at Heckenberg, in Sydney's west.

Tests on the 22-year-old's body revealed alcohol and a large amount of methamphetamine in his blood.

"There is evidence that the deceased was himself in an aggressive mood," the facts said.

Prosecutor Brad Hughes told Justice Megan Latham the crown accepted the pleas to the lesser charge, which involved "participating in an unlawful and dangerous act".

The brothers were aged 25, 20 and 17, and as one was a juvenile at the time, none can be named.

According to the agreed facts, the younger brothers were arguing about walking on the roadway at Heckenberg, as a close relative recently had been killed in a car accident.

The noise led occupants of a house, including Mr Matavesi, to come outside and tell the brothers and their two companions to "keep it down".

The occupants then initiated a confrontation with the brothers, who were both punched by Mr Matavesi.

When the brothers and their friends ran off, they were chased by Mr Matavesi and his group.

The brothers, one of whom had armed himself with a knife, later returned to the scene with their older sibling, who had a samurai sword.

Mr Matavesi and friends also armed themselves with a sword, knives and other weapons, before the oldest of the brothers told Mr Matavesi he only wanted to talk.

But Mr Matavesi threw a sword, and a short sword fight broke out before "an all-in brawl erupted, involving people from both groups".

The older brother fell to the ground with a head injury suffered during the sword fight, while the middle brother also fell after being hit in the head with a blunt instrument. They both suffered skull fractures.

The youngest brother then picked up a knife on the ground and fatally stabbed Mr Matavesi.

The judge adjourned sentencing submission to May 1.