Men involved in Ogilvie death eligible for parole within year

THREE Tweed men convicted over the 2010 death of Bilambil drug dealer Luke Ogilvie could all be released from jail within the next year.

Brothers Andrew and Benjamin Biffin and their friend Nicholas McCulloch were sentenced in the NSW Supreme Court this month for their parts in a violent home invasion which ended in Mr Ogilvie's bloody body being left in his yard.

The trio was originally charged with murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter last year.

Sentencing remarks published over the weekend reveal the three young men were visiting a friend in March 2010, when they were told drugs and cash could be found at Mr Ogilvie's home.

High on amphetamines and believing Mr Ogilvie was out of town, the men went to his Bilambil Heights home with a plan to break in.

Mr Ogilvie was home and when he confronted his intruders, he was assaulted.

What happened next was never made clear but later that night, police discovered Mr Ogilvie's body outside his home.

His motorbike, a small safe containing only monopoly money and a television had been stolen.

Justice Stephen Rothman accepted that while a heart condition could have caused Mr Ogilvie to "die suddenly and unexpectedly at any time", the three had arrived at the home for the purpose of stealing his property and once confronted by him used "such force as was necessary".

He said that even though the men did not believe Mr Ogilvie would be home, they had the opportunity when they arrived in their car and saw him, not to carry out their plan.

Justice Rothman noted all three had troubled family backgrounds and a long history of substance abuse and offending but all showed prospects of rehabilitation.

He said that nonetheless, manslaughter was an "extremely serious" offence and that "whatever view one may take of the victim's lifestyle and conduct, he was entitled to live out his life and his family were entitled to his company".

Andrew Biffin was sentenced to two years and 11 months and will be eligible for parole in December.

Benjamin Biffin was given three years and seven months while McCulloch received three years and four months.

Both are eligible for parole in May next year.



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