Family in disbelief after ‘typical Aussie larrikin’ allegedly bashed to death by neighbour


The son of a retired solicitor allegedly murdered inside his home in Sydney’s east has described his father as a “typical Aussie larrikin” who was always trying to help whoever he could.Key points:Peter McCarthy, 77, was found with severe facial and head injuries inside his South Coogee unit by his ex-wife Denise five days before Christmas.Police allege Narelle Smith bashed her elderly neighbour to death before stealing his satchel and mobile phone.Heavily armed officers stormed the Elphinstone Road complex yesterday afternoon before the 46-year-old was charged with murder.James McCarthy said his family had been struggling to come to terms with his father’s death.”He was a typical Aussie larrikin with a well-mannered twist — he was always trying to help whoever he could,” he said.”You start in disbelief and think it’s all a joke and then you quickly realise it’s not, it’s just horrific to be honest with you.”Ms Smith chose to remain in her police cell while her matter was briefly mentioned before Waverley Court this afternoon. The 46-year-old woman was charged with murder by police.(Supplied: NSW Police)Court documents allege she made a return bus trip from South Coogee to Surry Hills using Mr McCarthy’s Opal card on the same day his body was found.Sources close to the investigation have revealed Mr McCarthy was giving free legal advice to Ms Smith and that the pair were friendly.”Dad was just one of those people, even though he was retired if anybody needed anything in regards to legal advice he would help where he could,” Jason McCarthy said.”He was nice to everyone and did whatever he could to look after everyone and you just don’t think something like this would happen to him.”Four days before his death, Peter McCarthy was captured on CCTV having lunch at Club York in the CBD, where he was a regular patron.The grandfather was spotted out the next day, but when exactly he was killed is unclear. Police released CCTV showing Mr McCarthy inside the gaming room of Club York in the CBD on December 16.(Supplied: NSW Police)”He was a great dad and an amazing grandfather to my two sons — he was just a really kind-hearted, gentle guy,” James McCarthy said.”It was probably not long ago that he met the second grandchild, and he was ensconced with hanging onto him then the funny thing was he vomited all over him.”Mr McCarthy said he wanted to thank NSW Police and the Coroner for the support his family had received.”He was very well loved in the legal fraternity and they have all been reaching out, giving fond memories of him in court and advising barristers.”Narelle Smith will spend at least the next two months behind bars before she faces Waverley Court on March 9.

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