Australia

Man who shot friend tried to tell cops a chubby man did it

A teen had taken a cocktail of drugs and feared for his life when he shot a former high-school mate in the chest at point blank range at a unit block in Sydney’s west.Youssef Elsamad has been sentenced to 10 years jail, with seven years non-parole, for the manslaughter of Mohamed Salihy, 22, who died…

A teen had taken a cocktail of drugs and feared for his life when he shot a former high-school mate in the chest at point blank range at a unit block in Sydney’s west.

Youssef Elsamad has been sentenced to 10 years jail, with seven years non-parole, for the manslaughter of Mohamed Salihy, 22, who died from a shotgun wound to his chest in Merrylands West on January 19, 2018.

Elsamad, who was aged 19 at the time, fled the scene to dispose of the weapon he had drawn from his bedroom and hid in a neighbours yard.

When discovered by police he told them a chubby man wearing a “skeleton face mask” had shot Salihy, claiming he believed the unknown assailant was hunting for him too.

But Elsamad abandoned that story at his murder trial before the Supreme Court, telling a jury he did not know the gun was loaded and that it discharged as Salihy attempted to wrestle the weapon from him.

The confrontation came as Salihy chased his shooter for drug money, the court heard, and earlier that day had assaulted Elsamad on the street near Merrylands mall.

“I’m just going inside to talk to my mum,” Elsamad told Salihy when he turned up to the Eddy St apartment block where the younger man lived about 9.30pm.

Instead he returned with the gun that he claims had been left in his room by a relative and walked towards Salihy, as the men yelled at each other.

He feared Salihy might have had a knife, with agreed facts revealing the deceased had stabbed Elsamad’s friend during a home invasion a month earlier.

The Crown said the now 22-year-old had deliberately shot Salihy, but the accused maintained it was accidental.

Both men knew each other well from school and had mutual friends.

The jury found Elsamad guilty of manslaughter and on Friday Acting Justice Peter Hidden said he found the defendant’s story was not “inherently improbable”.

The court heard Elsamad had smoked cannabis and taken methamphetamine, ecstasy and Xanax while hanging out in a garage in the hours before Salihy turned up in a white van to confront him.

Despite a “disturbing“ criminal history, which included armed robbery and several knife and drug possession charges, Justice Hidden found the shooting was “impulsive” and motivated by factors including Salihy’s aggression towards him that day.

He has been in prison since his arrest on the night of Salihy’s death.

Justice Hidden imposed a seven-year non-parole period on the Merrylands West man, which expires on November 19, 2025.

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