Wollongong: murdered for calling parents 'wogs'


July 11, 2008

The man who forced a set of keys down his elderly neighbour's throat and strangled him has been sentenced to almost 19 years' jail.

Michael Barbetta, 44, pleaded guilty to the murder of David Smedley at the 65-year-old's unit on the NSW south coast in March last year.

The NSW Supreme Court in Sydney heard Mr Smedley was killed at Tarrawanna, in Wollongong, after a racial argument fuelled by a cocktail of drugs and alcohol.

In sentencing today, Justice Roderick Howie said Barbetta had killed Mr Smedley in an "uncontrollable rage" after he had called his parents "wogs".

"The offender became enraged due to what he perceived to be racial prejudice," Justice Howie said.

"There had been simmering resentment built up over time.".........