Renzo Da-Pra

Address: NSW, Australia
Age: 59
Sex: Male


Date: 04 June 2012
Charges: Murder, manslaughter, causing grievous bodily harm with intent to murder
Category: Murder
Court: New South Wales Supreme Court
Judge: Judge Hulme
Penalty: 15 years’ imprisonment

The New South Wales Supreme Court convicted Renzo Da-Pra of murder, manslaughter and causing grievous bodily harm with intent to murder. The offences occurred on 18 December 2009.

Da-Pra killed Gervasio Da-Pra in circumstances that amounted to manslaughter, murdered Emma Wighton and caused grievous bodily harm to Vivienne Wighton with intent to murder her.

The neighbour who let Da-Pra into her house was Vivienne Wighton. Her evidence was to the effect that her door bell rang, she went to the front door, the main door was open but the screen door was locked. Da-Pra announced who he was and then wrenched open the screen door, came in, sidled along next to the staircase and moving his fingers as if rolling a cigarette. He was red in the face. Wighton sidled opposite until they reached the kitchen. There he grabbed her hand, swung her around and started punching her. He punched her twice to the face and she indicated firstly the right side and then the left. In her words, "He finished me off" and she lost consciousness. Phone records in evidence suggest that the attack on Wighton occurred before 12.15 pm and certainly before 1.30 pm.

Much later in the day, the evidence of the paramedics would suggest after 7.00 pm Wighton made a 000 call. When the paramedics attended, they found Emma Wighton dead on the floor in the family room near the kitchen and Wighton in a side doorway between the entrance hall and the loungeroom. Both had had their throats cut, in the case of Emma Wighton, the cut extending through the back of her mouth to the spine. The wound included four shallow "tails" into the adjacent skin suggesting a sawing motion of the implement which caused the injuries.

Emma Wighton had also suffered extensive bruising to the lips and chin that Dr Orde thought unlikely to have been caused by only one blow. There was also a fracture of the skull and other bruising in the area that could have had a number of causes including falling to the floor. There was some patterned bruising to the upper chest but the evidence was not sufficient to explain this.

A blood spatter expert called by the Crown concluded that Emma Wighton had been supine at the time her throat was cut.

Wighton had also suffered a very extensive cut to her throat from one side to the other. The larynx, and the anterior jugular veins were completely transected and the left internal jugular vein and the vasavesorum of the left carotid artery were partially transected.

There was a wealth of evidence which was not challenged and for a substantial period prior to the 18 December 2009, Da-Pra had some belief that he and his family were being pursued by someone called "Boris" and a group associated with Boris or bikies. Although there was limited evidence that these beliefs were not justified, there was some, the trial was conducted upon the basis that they were delusions.

Judge Hulme noted, “The Crown submitted that there were a number of aggravating features in this case,

(i) The extent of violence involved in the three offences.

(ii) The nature of the weapon used on Emma and Vivienne Wighton.

(iii) That the offences against them occurred against the victims in their home.

(iv) Gratuitous cruelty, particularly the patterned injury on Emma Wighton.

(v) The injury, emotional harm and loss involved in all offences was substantial.

(vi) The offences against Emma and Vivienne Wighton involved some planning.

(vii) The offences against Emma and Vivienne Wighton were committed, in part, for financial gain.”

Da-Pra was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment.