Condon argued Elliott felt under pressure and compelled to act, which reduced his criminality.
“We say… Maghnie is the person who has devised the retributive attack,” she said.
But Justice Andrew Tinney said the jury’s verdict showed it rejected Elliott’s evidence, and it was also plausible that he and Fares devised the plan when contacted by Ali Maghnie. The judge said Nabil Maghnie might have known he was under police surveillance at the time, so he might have wanted to avoid involvement.
Prosecutors have submitted it is open to Tinney to impose life sentences because of the seriousness of the crimes.
Condon said on Thursday that the Love Machine murders were “extremely serious”, but not in the worst category of offending for the crime of murder.
But Tinney said it was hard to see how they could not be classified among the worst, noting the crime was an act of premeditated retribution, the shots were fired from a moving car in a busy street, and the victims were defenseless and shot from close range.
“These are dreadful crimes, aren’t they?” the judge asked the barrister. Condon maintained they were “very serious”.
Elliott’s maternal aunt, Karlene Jergens, said she became worried when she saw her nephew develop an attraction in his mid-teens to his father’s lifestyle of “cars, clothing and money”.
“He kind of took on his father’s persona…just very grown up already, too grown up,” Jergens said.
Another aunt, Fay Maghnie, said it was a shock for Elliott to have her brother in his life, as the younger man was raised mainly by soft, gentle women, whereas his father demanded respect and was quick to anger.
Fay Maghnie said she heard her brother had hit Elliott, and the pair didn’t speak for a year.
She said she and her family were sorry for the pain the Arow and Osmani families endured, and knew what it was like to lose someone.
“It was a day that changed so many people’s lives,” she said.
Lawyers for Fares and Moussa Hamka, 28, who was found guilty of assisting them by hiding Elliott’s gun after the shootings, will address the judge on Friday.
The three guilty men have spent more than three years in custody since their arrests.
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