Man acquitted of schoolgirl killing faces assault charges

 

A Sydney man who was acquitted of a schoolgirl's murder drunkenly accused his partner and her family friend of having an affair before playing with two samurai swords and punching them both in the face.

Details of the boozy Christmas dinner party can now be revealed after Vinzent Tarantino, 53, of Canada Bay, pleaded guilty to assaulting his partner Michelle Kovacs, 48, and her mate Henry Pisaturo, 58, who she has known for more than 40 years.

Tarantino was acquitted by a jury two years ago of killing Quanne Diec, 12, who was last seen walking to a train station in Granville in 1998, after he said he had made a false confession to abducting her.

Schoolgirl Quanne Diec, who was last seen in Granville in 1998.
Schoolgirl Quanne Diec, who was last seen in Granville in 1998.

According to a police fact sheet tendered to the court in the assault case, the former nightclub bouncer produced two bottles of scotch which he, Ms Kovacs and Mr Pisaturo consumed cordially during the dinner on December 15.

Vinzent Tarantino is back in court, this time on assault charges. Picture: AAP Image/Joel Carrett
Vinzent Tarantino is back in court, this time on assault charges. Picture: AAP Image/Joel Carrett

However, things went downhill when Tarantino learnt Ms Kovacs had caught up with Mr Pisaturo while he was in prison and he falsely accused them of having an affair before he went to his room and started to play with two samurai swords he owns.

Tarantino called Ms Kovacs "a slut and a whore" while Mr Pisaturo intervened and said to him: "It never happened; it will never happen she's family. Do you think I would be standing here having a grog with you if we did?"

But Tarantino grew even more agitated and punched Mr Pisaturo in the face, knocking his glasses to the ground and causing a laceration to his nose as he crouched to try and shield himself from further blows.

Tarantino then set upon Ms Kovacs after she tried to stop the assault and punched her in the nose and mouth, causing her nose to start bleeding before she phoned police.

When police arrived Tarantino refused to open his unit's door for hours and said "I'm not coming out you can shoot me dead. I've done nothing wrong. Goodbye" and "If you want to bust the door down I'm ready."

Vinzent Tarantino leading police to a possible burial site of Quanne Diec. Picture: Supplied
Vinzent Tarantino leading police to a possible burial site of Quanne Diec. Picture: Supplied

After specialist negotiators arrived, he opened his front door and dropped down to his knees to be handcuffed. Police seized two samurai swords and 15 knives in the unit over concerns over whether the weapons were legal. He was not charged over the weapons.

Tarantino later told officers in custody: "I'm very embarrassed and apologetic. I don't even remember what happen. I don't usually drink. I'm trying to get my life back on track."

He is now back out on bail and will be sentenced on the two assault charges in Burwood Local Court on March 18.



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