A man has been found not guilty of murdering his girlfriend’s father during a horror stabbing altercation on Christmas Day.
Garth Michael Reid had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Warren Toby, who was stabbed to death outside a home in North Ipswich in December 2020.
A Supreme Court jury retired to deliberate about 1.30pm on Monday.
By Tuesday afternoon they returned a verdict of not guilty after just a day of deliberation.
Reid was instead found guilty on the alternate charge of manslaughter.
Members of Mr Toby’s family could be heard gasping upon the verdict being delivered.
Throughout the trial, the crown contended Mr Reid intended to kill Mr Toby or cause him grievous bodily harm when he tried to leave the property in the early hours of Boxing Day 2020.
Mr Reid, who was dating Mr Toby’s daughter Kieran Toby-Currie, had been invited to Christmas Day celebrations with the family.
The court was told a joke at Ms Toby-Currie’s experience had caused the mood to sour and the pair wanted to leave.
Crown prosecutor Matt Le Grand said Mr Reid was prevented from leaving by Mr Toby and others at the party as they had been drinking all day.
An altercation then broke out, leading to Mr Reid stabbing Mr Toby.
Defence barrister Jessica Horne said her client had defended himself upon being confronted by Mr Toby and his son Ethan.
The court was told Reid was scared for his safety after Ethan said he would “have to go through me” if he wanted to leave the property.
After Reid punched Ms Toby-Currie because she was in his way, Mr Toby then started attacking him.
Ms Horne told the court Reid was under attack and unable to retreat when he delivered the fatal stab wounds.
He will be sentenced on August 18.