23 February 2021

'No justice' for Andrew Drake as Surfside man's killer found guilty of manslaughter

| Albert McKnight
Join the conversation
Andrew Drake

Andrew Drake, pictured in the Sierra Nevada Mountains while he was working as a horseman. Photo: Lucy Wessell.

Daniel James Sharpe has been cleared of murdering Andrew Drake in Batemans Bay, although he has been found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Since the start of February, the 20-year-old from Tarago has been on trial in the Queanbeyan Supreme Court over the stabbing death of Mr Drake at a home in Surfside late in the night of 13 April 2019.

NSW Police found Mr Drake with multiple stab wounds to his torso and he died at the scene.

Sharpe later pleading not guilty to his murder.

READ MORE Tarago man pleads not guilty over death of Andrew Drake in Surfside

On Tuesday, the jury unanimously agreed Sharpe was not guilty of murdering the 29-year-old, but did find him guilty of the alternative charge of manslaughter.

Members of Mr Drake’s family cried in court after the verdict was delivered.

Sharpe, a short man with short black hair and dressed in a black suit, remained unemotional in the dock, but later could be seen smiling to his lawyer.

Andrew Drake

Andrew Drake visiting Jordan. Photo: Lucy Wessell.

The jury began deliberating about a week earlier and on Monday its foreman informed the court they could not reach a unanimous verdict, so Justice Geoffrey Bellew instead asked the jurors to reach a majority verdict of 10-1.

But on Tuesday, prior to the announcement of the verdict, he told the court the jury had sent him a note saying they had come to a unanimous decision.

In a statement later provided to Region Media on behalf of Mr Drake’s family, his sister Lucy Wessell said “to say that our family is disappointed in this verdict is an understatement”.

“The evidence showed that Andrew had defensive wounds on his arms, with numerous incised wounds and a total of 11 stab wounds, with two of those stab wounds into his back,” she said.

“Andrew was a worldly traveller and horseman, who had no criminal history at all.

“We have no justice for Andrew.

“This verdict is monumental disappointment and we are sad beyond belief.”

Sharpe faces a maximum sentence of 25 years’ jail under the charge of manslaughter.

Justice Bellew adjourned the case for a sentencing hearing on 21 April in the Queanbeyan court.

Original Article published by Albert McKnight on The RiotACT.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

Disgusting outcome … I’d like to know how it could be anything less than murder.

Daily Digest

Do you like to know what’s happening around your region? Every day the About Regional team packages up our most popular stories and sends them straight to your inbox for free. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.