Qian Liu found not guilty of murdering husband Han Lim Chin

Not guilty: Qian Liu leaves the Supreme Court on Thursday after being been cleared on murder and manslaughter charges. Picture: Davir Moir
Not guilty: Qian Liu leaves the Supreme Court on Thursday after being been cleared on murder and manslaughter charges. Picture: Davir Moir

Qian Liu worked long shifts every day at her family's Chinese restaurant in Auburn.

With a busy work and home life, Ms Liu's only respite was exercising at the gym.

So when her husband, Han Lim Chin, began doggedly to accuse her of having an affair with her personal trainer, their marriage grew tense and bitter.

Mr Chin had been in and out of work, was worried about being caught stealing from his employer, and had accumulated tens of thousands of dollars in gambling debts.

By January 3, 2016, Ms Liu had consulted a lawyer and approached Mr Chin about getting a divorce.

That evening, Mr Chin grew angry, came in and out of her bedroom in their Riverwood granny flat several times, once holding a sharp ceramic knife behind his back.

"For his sake, this is how you treated your husband?" Mr Chin said angrily, up in her face, in reference to her trainer.

Ms Liu told the NSW Supreme Court she followed Mr Chin to his bedroom, grabbed the knife from his bum bag, and tried to get to the door, accidentally striking him with the blade as she did.

The 35-year-old said she thought the protective sheaf was on the blade, and did not realise her husband was seriously injured until she saw blood and he collapsed.

On Thursday a NSW Supreme Court jury found Ms Liu not guilty of the murder, and not guilty of the manslaughter of Mr Chin.

It took the jury approximately 90 minutes to reach a decision.

As the forewoman delivered the verdict, Ms Liu allowed herself to smile for the first time since the trial began and nodded gratefully at the jury.

Justice Clifton Hoeben chuckled.

"After 13 years it's my first not guilty," he said.

Then Ms Liu was swamped by hugs, from her lawyers, her family and friends.

By the time she strode out into the daylight, she was grinning so broadly that she showed her teeth.

Ms Liu's contempt for her husband in their final months and weeks together was apparent when she gave evidence, variously calling him "childish", "laughable" and "infuriating".

Her barrister Phillip Boulten, SC, acknowledged the couple's marital difficulties, but said Ms Liu did not deliberately stab Mr Chin.

"If your husband came into your bedroom with a knife … that's something that would frighten you, scare you, threaten you," Mr Boulten said.

"He was, without the use of force, violent. Women do not deserve that sort of treatment, even women who are finished with their husband."

He said their fight descended into dangerous territory very quickly.

"What happened was a terrible thing, a terrible tragic action and it occurred when she was trying to make sure that her husband could not regain control of the knife.

"It was a charged atmosphere."

When Mr Chin said he was dizzy and collapsed, Ms Liu ran to the main house and asked a cousin to call an ambulance.

She said she then cradled her husband.

"He said 'Oh wife, do believe me, I love you very much,' " Liu said of their final moments together.

"I said: 'I believe that you love me, I love you very, very much too. If you love me, you've got to hold on.' "

Police officers told court Ms Liu said: "It's all right. We had an argument. I stabbed him. We argued and I was mad."

But Ms Liu denied their account.