top of page

The Case of Phuong Ngo


Is justice inherent in the New South Wales legal system? Surely any reasonable person would believe that after a coronial inquiry, an aborted trial, a hung jury trial, and conviction for murder on the third trial & final confirmation of the sentence by a judicial inquiry – that any doubt exists.

Mr Phuong Ngo has been jailed for some 25 years with a "life means a life" sentence for killing rival New South Wales state politician John Newman with no release possible except by a pardon from the State Governor or Governor General, which will never happen.

A host of his supporters believe the sentence is unsafe or he is innocent. New South Wales is unique among our states regarding a "life means life" sentence and has no criminal case review committee like the UK, Scotland, New Zealand and Norway. This may conflict with United Nations recommendations.

In 2001 Justice Dunford sentenced Phuong Ngo under the crimes sentencing procedure act 1999 section 61, which he felt compelled a life sentence - where retribution, punishment, community protection, and deterrence only be met through that sentence. But is he correct?.

Justice James Wood who presided in the first two trials indicated that only if the shooter was convicted then prosecution of the others involved could proceed. But this was not followed by his successor.

Some facts in this complex case support the disquiet of Ngo supporters.

Evidence from Reba Meagher that she was offered a choice of two seats by Mr John Della Bosco (Secretary of the Labour Party) at 3:30 pm when the murder occurred at 9:30 pm that very day, was never tested in court despite the contradictory evidence of Mr Della Bosco.

The behaviour of the police, crown prosecutor and the competence of the judge have all been seriously questioned .

The previous New South Wales Attorney General Mark Speakman simply refused to discuss the matter of long-term sentencing. All legal niceties have been followed but has justice been done ? NO.

Mr Michael Daley MP - is the new NSW Attorney General (March 2023) and will become the key decision maker, responsible for a Case review of Phuong Ngo.

Mr Phuong Ngo has been in jail for 25 years for the murder of John Newman his political rival which Phuong Ngo still denies. The verdict is considered unsafe by his supporters despite multiple trials.

In 2008, Justice David Patten conducted a judicial inquiry confirming the verdict of Justice John Dunford and with scathing comment about the rudeness and unreliability of Ngo's supporters but did not allow the two principal crown witnesses to be called.

Justice Patten was severely criticised by three Supreme Court appeal judges in a separate hearing three weeks after the Phuong Ngo decision stating Justice Patten showed failure to understand the significance of some crucial evidence and failed to engage in intellectual analysis of the evidence.

John Newman himself had questionable friends and was described by a staff member “as the closest thing to the devil I know and he was an evil man. “

My letter to Mr Mark Speakman MP ( Attorney General of New South Wales 2017-2023) about long-term sentencing principles received a bucket of white wash by delegating a reply to an anonymous subcommittee who answered none of the questions put.

Police, politicians, the judiciary and the media are jointly responsible for the present situation which stains the New South Wales justice system which urgently requires a criminal case review committee.

Please write to Mr Michael Daley (NSW Attorney General 2023) and Sign the Petition here.

Mac Halliday 2023

1 Comment

Amy Ngo
Amy Ngo
Jul 25, 2023

Justice has been carried out PERFECTLY in the past 25 years and it should continue that way.

Phuong Ngo should be locked up forever.

bottom of page