Killed over a hot chip: Man convicted of manslaughter after Surfers Paradise brawl

A Sydney man has been found guilty of the manslaughter of a Brazilian national at Surfers Paradise in 2019 during a brawl over stolen hot chips.

Feb 08, 2023, updated Feb 08, 2023
Ricky Lefoe outside the Brisbane Supreme Court before his manslaughter conviction (AAP Image/Darren England)

Ricky Lefoe outside the Brisbane Supreme Court before his manslaughter conviction (AAP Image/Darren England)

Ricky Kevin Lefoe, 32, stood trial this week in the Brisbane Supreme Court accused of the unlawful killing of Ivan Patricio Susin, then aged 29, during the street brawl.

Following two days of evidence and final directions from Chief Justice Helen Bowskill on Wednesday morning, the jury returned its verdict within a couple of hours.

In court on Wednesday, Lefoe held his head in his hand and Susin’s family members in the public gallery quietly gasped as the verdict was read out.

Lefoe’s barrister Patrick McCafferty sought a two or three-week adjournment to obtain a pre-sentence report.

Justice Bowskill ordered that Lefoe’s sentencing be held at a date to be fixed.

During the trial, crown prosecutors and Lefoe’s defence agreed that he punched Susin just after 1am on October 1, 2019 outside an Orchid Street kebab shop, causing him to fall and suffer head injuries that claimed his life 10 days later.

The fatal blow resulted from a brawl that started when Lefoe’s intoxicated friend Shaun Simpson grabbed at a container of chips that two of Susin’s friends were eating from while sitting outside on a bench.

The jury was repeatedly shown CCTV footage taken from outside the kebab shop that showed the entire incident including Susin’s attempt to intervene and the punch that ultimately killed him.

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Three bystanders testified that they heard shouting before and during the brawl but could not recall or did not hear the words that were used.

One witness testified they saw Susin attempt a “haymaker” punch and agreed with McCafferty that it was “delivered with great force”.

Kebab shop worker Yousef Majed Abu Meizer testified that Susin appeared drunk and within a matter of seconds he left the shop, punched or pushed one of the two men who started the fight and was then knocked down.

McCafferty told the jury his client took action because Susin had attempted to throw a powerful punch at his friend from behind.

In her closing statement, crown prosecutor Elizabeth Kelso said Lefoe had watched Simpson pin a smaller man to the ground and punch him repeatedly before punching Susin after he tried to help.

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