Miguel Silva not guilty over shooting

First his sister Jessica Silva stood trial for murdering her estranged boyfriend James Polkinghorne following months of abuse.


Then Miguel Silva found himself in the dock, this time on trial for allegedly being an accessory to a shooting murder carried out by Polkinghorne just months before Jessica killed him.

The Crown alleged Mr Silva witnessed Polkinghorne shoot Nikolas Argiropoulos from point-blank range twice in the head in a park in Sydney’s inner west in March 2012, when a drug deal went sour.

Mr Silva was accused of fleeing the scene before later driving to pick Polkinghorne up and letting him stay at his smash repairs shop in Marrickville.

But Mr Silva denied this.

His barrister Gregory Scragg told his District Court trial in Sydney last month that there would be an issue as to when his client became aware Polkinghorne had murdered Mr Argiropoulos and whether he had actually assisted him after.

On Friday a jury found Mr Silva not guilty of being an accessory after the fact to murder and for concealing a serious indictable offence.

It comes on the heels of Ms Silva’s trial in which she was accused of murdering Polkinghorne outside her parents’ Marrickville home on Mother’s Day 2012 – just months after Argiropoulos was shot.

The 25-year-old pleaded not guilty to his murder on the basis of self-defence but was found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter by a Supreme Court jury and handed a suspended jail term.

Throughout Ms Silva’s trial Polkinghorne’s voice filled the court room with haunting regularity.

Fortuitously, Mr Silva’s phone was being tapped by police who were investigating Polkinghorne over the shooting death of Argiropoulos.

What the recordings revealed was that Polkinghorne was an angry young man increasingly fuelled by the drug “ice”.

The court heard he had been abusive from an early point in their four-year relationship but that this escalated towards the end of 2011 and during 2012.

By the afternoon of his death the verbal abuse was coming in thick and fast.

Although Justice Clifton Hoeben was not satisfied Ms Silva believed Polkinghorne was going to kill her, he found she wanted to protect herself and her family from further violence and that she believed her estranged partner had killed Argiropoulos.

When Polkinghorne showed up outside her parents’ home, a struggle with Mr Silva and her father erupted outside.

Ms Silva went back inside the house, grabbed a knife from the kitchen, returned to the street and stabbed Polkinghorne.

She was handed a two-year suspended sentence after Justice Hoeben found the circumstances surrounding the killing were exceptional.

Her lawyer has said she would be appealing the conviction.

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