Donegal men cleared of murdering man in Sydney

September 21, 2020

TWO Donegal men have been acquitted of murder in Australia.

Inishowen men Nathan Kelly (23) and Christopher McLaughlin (25) were on trial for the murder of Paul Tavelardis in the Supreme Court.

Mr Tavelardis died nine days after an altercation with the Donegal pair.

Both men pleaded not guilty to murdering the homeless man, who lived in his car.

Mr Tavelardis, 66, died in hospital days after the incident on Grosvenor Crescent just after midnight on December 29, 2018, having suffered critical head injuries caused by blunt force trauma.

After deliberating for almost a week, a jury returned not guilty verdicts to both murder and manslaughter.

During the three-week trial, the jury heard that the two men were drinking heavily throughout the day before the incident, which happened at around 12.30am.

After lying down in Summer Hill railway station, they got in a car and drove laps of the suburb,

On their return to Grosvenor Crescet, where they also lived, the two men said they found Mr Tavelardis trying to break into Mr McLaughlin’s car.

The two argued that Mr Tavelardis struck Mr Kelly with a metal pipe.

A neighbour said he saw Mr Tavelardis run around his car with a ‘large item’ in his hand.

The neighbour said the men began to beat Mr Tavelardis.

Barristers for the two men argued that they never had intent to kill or cause serious harm.

The trial, before Justice Geoffrey Bellew, concluded when the NSW Supreme Court jury returned not guilty verdicts.

It is expected that the two men will return to Inishowen.