Ex-surgeon found guilty for killing wife's family members in Sydney, including two children

Robert Xie, 53, was found guilty of murdering five members of a Chinese-Australian family in Sydney. 

He was charged with killing his Chinese-born wife's brother Norman Lin, 45, Lin's wife Lily, 43, their sons Henry, 12, and Terry, nine, and Lily's sister Irene, 39. 

All five bodies were found in their north-western Sydney home in July 2009.

Xie who was an ear, nose and throat surgeon in China before moving to Australia in 2002 faced four murder trials.

Two of them were aborted, one ended in a hung jury and the most recent re-trial lasted for six months.

The majority of a New South Wales Supreme Court jury found Xie guilty and he will be sentenced on Feb 10, according to a court official as mentioned by Agence France-Presse via The Straits Times.

After the verdict was announced, Xie told the court, "I did not murder the Lin family, I am innocent." 

According to Sydney Morning Herald via The Straits Times, his wife, Kathy sobbed and said, "He is innocent."

Prosecutors said Xie was motivated to kill his wife's brother along with his family because he was angered by his perceived lowly status within the family. 

Ms Tanya Smith said, "These perceptions invoked intense emotions on his behalf, including anger and resentment, and (he) directed these emotions at Lin and his wife,"

There was also an alleged illicit sexual motive but details could not be reported due to non-publication orders.

The prosecutors also suggested a monetary incentive for the killings by saying that Xie had tried to gain control of his brother-in-law's assets which includes the family's news agency, their North Epping home, a unit at Merrylands and a commercial unit which had just been leased.

The victims were physically abused almost beyond recognition with their bodies lying in pools of blood.

Some were even splattered on the wall.

Prosecutors said that Xie was carrying a hammer-like weapon which was "assembled for maximum effect to incapacitate and kill."

They believe he used it to beat Mr Lin and his wife while they were sound asleep in their bedroom.

Xie then crept to another bedroom and killed Mr Lin's sister. 

His nephews, Terry and Henry were possibly murdered because they had seen Xie and would have been able to identify him. 

One of the boys was hit 18 times.

Mr Smith said, "It's apparent from the blood splatter patterns - there was a furious struggle in that bedroom."

Xie then returned to the parents' bedroom and rearranged their bodies so that they were lying in a V-shape. 

His reasons for doing so are unknown.

Xie and his wife were the ones who discovered the bodies and called the police. 

Xie's main alibi, which his wife supported, was that he was asleep in bed with her when the crimes occurred but the prosecution suggested that his wife could be sedated and he left in the early hours to commit the murders at the nearby Lin residence.

 Xie was eventually charged in 2011 and has been in remand since then.