Tongan man guilty of murdering neighbour with a smashed beer bottle

A Tongan man who killed his neighbour with a smashed beer bottle during an attack which lasted less than 15 seconds has been found guilty of murder.

The victim, Kelly Ventigadoo, who’d been farewelling his parents outside his home, bled to death in five minutes, Fairfax Media reported.

Sateki Siale, 26, had admitted causing the death of Mr Ventigadoo but pleaded not guilty to murdering him early on October 11, 2015, at Lakemba in Sydney’s southwest.

He claimed to have no memory of the attack and his barrister argued he was too drunk to form an intention to kill.

But a NSW Supreme Court jury on Friday found Siale guilty of murder after less than three days of deliberations.

Jurors had been told Mr Ventigadoo and his parents were talking a little loudly outside his home because his father was hearing impaired, when a drunken Siale approached them.

It was claimed Siale asked why they were talking so loudly and stated “this is my street” before fatally stabbing Mr Ventigadoo.

Siale pleaded guilty to assault causing death while intoxicated but denied murdering Mr Ventigadoo, claiming he never intended to kill him.

Mr Ventigadoo’s mother, Cynthia, told the jury she actually put a hand on Siale’s chest telling him to go home as they were leaving.

Ms Ventigadoo said the man was “angry” and “talking in a big voice” when he approached them.

“He took the broken bottle and … smashed my son,” she said.

She started to cry when recalling how her son “dropped” after being slashed across the neck with the broken beer bottle.

“When he fell he was holding his left ear because he was bleeding everywhere.”

When the victim got back up and asked Siale “why did you do that?” Siale hit him again and this time Kelly didn’t get up.

His father, James Ventigadoo, said the whole incident took 10 to 15 seconds.

Siale later told police he had had a “big night” before attacking Mr Ventigadoo about 12.30am.

Clinical forensic pharmacologist John Farrar estimated Siale had been drinking for more than six hours and would have had a blood alcohol content of between 0.23 and 0.36 when he attacked his victim.

Mr Farrar said if this was correct, Siale would have had to have consumed up to 17 bottles of beer and half a bottle of bourbon.

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