A Sydney woman who fatally stabbed her cousin after a violent and prolonged argument over her Mercedes has been found guilty of manslaughter.
Katherine Abdallah, 37, submitted she had acted in self-defence when she killed Suzie Sarkis, 21, at her Brighton-Le-Sands townhouse on February 9, 2013.
However, after almost five days of deliberations, a NSW Supreme Court jury on Monday found Abdallah guilty of manslaughter, before her bail was revoked and the case put over to December 13.
During the trial, the jury heard that Abdallah was subjected to "gratuitous, prolonged and relentless violence" from her cousin before she fatally stabbed her in self-defence.
Abdallah had produced two knives "purely as a defensive pose, a defensive stance", her barrister Gregory Stanton said in the defence's final address in the NSW Supreme Court.
The prosecution contends the stabbing wasn't done in self-defence but was a continuation of a series of violent acts by Abdallah that day after she became angry at her cousin for using her new Mercedes.
The jury has been shown CCTV footage, without sound, from inside the townhouse depicting prolonged arguments between the pair.
Mr Stanton replayed footage to the jury and described various scenes including Ms Sarkis kicking and punching at a shut door, throwing and shattering a vase and throwing papers all over the floor.
He describes Ms Sarkis running towards her cousin, successfully tackling her to the couch and delivering a "series of rabbit killer" punches to the back of her neck.
The younger woman picks up a phone, brandishing it above her head and appears to be arming herself with a "potential weapon", he said.
Her behaviour was "unprovoked, ferocious, prolonged, protracted and somewhat relentless".
She hurls her cousin's mobile phone, continuing her gratuitous and relentless violent behaviour, he said.
Abdallah uses a four-pack of drink bottles to strike her cousin.
"Did it prevent, deter, stop the deceased from her rage of violence?" he asks, saying Ms Sarkis then chases her cousin to the kitchen.
He said the prosecution claimed Abdallah then deliberately took two knives from the knife-block and plunged one deep into her cousin's chest.
But Mr Stanton said she armed herself with the knives and assumes a defensive stance, "saying - through the use of the knives - keep away" before Ms Sarkis continues to move forward.
Far from being a "deliberate plunging of the knife", Mr Stanton said "with the greatest respect" that "you need to look very closely to see the stabbing take place".
In the Crown's final address, prosecutor John Bowers said Abdallah immediately lied about her cousin's death, including blaming a tall, fat Lebanese woman with a tattoo on her hand. She then lied to a triple-zero operator saying she was applying pressure to the wound when she was in fact carefully cleaning two knives, he told the court.
Mr Bowers contended the stabbing wasn't done in self-defence but was a continuation of a series of violent acts by Abdallah that day after she became angry at her cousin for using her new Mercedes.
CCTV footage inside the townhouse showed her looking at and rolling her cousin on her back after the stabbing.
"The accused must have known Ms Sarkis was stabbed in the chest and that she was in serious trouble as a result," he said.
She told lies straight away to the triple-zero operator, saying "there was a bit of an accident in the house, there was a bit of a fight" and that the weapon was a vase.
"The operator gave her instructions to do things for Ms Sarkis which might have made a difference if Ms Abdallah had done them," he said.
But while she answered yes when the operator asked if she was applying pressure with a towel on the wound, Abdallah was, in fact, picking up the knives from the table and washing them, using a cleaning spray, drying them and putting them back in the knife block.
She was not acting in a panic but in "her own best interests as she saw them", getting rid of evidence linking her to the knives, Mr Bowers said.
More to come