AUSTRALIA/UNITED KINGDOM: The trial of Jack Ledlin, 21, for the murder of Cameron Smith in Seaford in November 2020, is ongoing in Victoria’s Supreme Court. The jury reached a judgement in less than 24 hours, and a brief clap of approval could be heard as the verdict was read.
Although Ledlin had denied the more serious accusation of murder, he had pleaded guilty to manslaughter. The jury was informed that when the two men met on Station Street, Smith was en route to Seaford Beach to see the sunset.
The court heard that although the two were strangers, Natasha Stroumos, Smith’s ex, and Scarlett Taylor, Ledlin’s girlfriend, had previously come into contact at a party.
Ledlin, Taylor, and two other people had insulted the couple before the fatal altercation, according to Ms Stroumos, who testified in court.
The jury was given footage from a cell phone of the altercation, in which Ledlin was seen holding a bladed instrument. He allegedly stabbed Smith in the heart, according to the prosecution.
In addition, the Supreme Court was informed that when Smith passed out, Ledlin’s friends gathered the victim and gave him a head kick before running away. Smith passed away at the site of his injuries because the paramedics were unable to save him.
His father, Michael Smith, broke into tears outside court as he described the difficulty of the trial and the sorrow his family has experienced over the last two years after he lost his son.
He stated, “I’m very happy even though it will never bring him back. We know that the person who ended his life will serve a lot of time and that’s what we wanted.”
The father of a Melbourne businessman fatally stabbed in the heart while defending his ex-girlfriend says he is delighted his son’s killer has been found guilty of murder but said his loss will be heavy “for the rest of our lives”.
Carpenter Cameron Smith, 26, was stabbed in the chest with the blade of a gun by Jack Ledlin, 21, during an argument near Seaford train station in November 2020.
Defence attorneys had contended that although Ledlin, who was 19 at the time, took responsibility for Smith’s death, he did not have “murderous intent” at the time of the altercation.
Ledlin, who was 19 at the time of the attack, did not react as the jury delivered their verdict. Late next month, Ledlin will return to court for a plea hearing.
Details of the Incident
Three men and one woman confronted Smith and his ex-girlfriend Natasha Stroumos just before 7pm on 25 November 2020 on Seaford foreshore. Smith and Stroumos, who had broken up but remained friends, were on their way to dinner at the beach.
Two of the people were shouting abuse at the pair due to animosity from the New Year’s party when Smith inadvertently took a drink from a woman called Scarlett Taylor – Ledlin’s girlfriend at the time – thinking it belonged to Stroumos.
At Seaford, Ledlin and Taylor swore and abused Smith and Stroumos as they walked past and followed them. Taylor threw a glass bottle at Stroumos’ feet as the three men charged at Smith.
When a fight broke out, Ledlin stabbed Smith in the chest with a sharp object, which police never found. He and his companions then escaped and took a taxi to the suburb of Karingal.
Smith, a carpenter and talented runner, died in his ex-girlfriend’s arms as the group fled. They were arrested in the following days.
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