The & # 39; shattered & # 39; Schoolgirl Quanne Diec's family in Sydney says they are struggling to face the non-guilty verdict handed down to former nightclub bouncer Vinzent Tarantino, who was accused of her murder.
Tarantino, 52, had known & # 39; to the police & # 39; that he had kidnapped and killed the 12-year-old who had disappeared while walking to a train station on July 27, 1998.
But he later withdrew that confession and pleaded not guilty of murder and kidnapping in a New South Wales Supreme Court trial.
Mr. Tarantino claimed that he had invented his recordings so that he could go to jail, where he would be protected from bikies that he claimed to have been following him.
On Wednesday, after six days of consultation and a seven-week trial, a jury of four men and seven women returned a non-guilty verdict. (A 12th jury member was fired).
Quanne's body was never found. Her family said the verdict & # 39; hard to understand & # 39; used to be.
Outside Granville police station, Quanne & nephew Christine Woo issued an emotional statement that the family was still processing the verdict.
& # 39; Today's result is not what we were hoping for, & # 39; she said, holding back her tears.
Quanne & # 39; s cousin Christine Woo reads the family's statement to the media. & # 39; Today's result is not what we were hoping for. We are still trying the words & # 39; not guilty & # 39; to process, & she said
The body of 12-year-old Quanne Diec, (photo) who disappeared on July 27, 1998, was never found. Her father was comforted by detectives on Wednesday
Vinzent Tarantino was overrun by reporters when he left a free man after he was found guilty of murdering 12-year-old Quanne Diec
& # 39; We wanted justice for Quanne and we didn't … We couldn't let her rest and give her the dignity she deserves.
& # 39; The last 21 years have touched us deeply. No one should suffer the pain we have endured.
& # 39; Someone out there knows where she is and against that person: you have destroyed our family. & # 39;
Outside the court, a jubilant Mr. Tarantino made the extraordinary claim that he had proof that the police had proofed & # 39; changed & # 39 ;.
Mr. Tarantino claimed that he had that & # 39; in my pocket & # 39; and told reporters: & # 39; If you want to come see me, prepare your checkbooks. I wasted three years of my life & # 39 ;.
He also claimed that he felt compelled to confess because he had pointed & # 39; gun at me & # 39; in the back of the prison bus.
Quanne's sobbing father was comforted by detectives after the verdict returned.
Within the court, Tarantino repeatedly nodded at the jury and bowed to them after their verdict had returned.
Quanne & # 39; s distraught parents Ann and Sam Diec talked with the media outside Granville police station for hours after Tarantino's guilty verdict. They said: & # 39; We wanted justice for Quanne and we didn't & # 39;
The crown had claimed that Tarantino had taken Quanne off the street in a white van, had driven to his father's nearby house, had strangled her, and had thrown her body away in bushland south of Sydney.
Mr Tarantino told the jury that his confession to the police in 2016 was fake after he had spent nearly two decades on the flight of bikies. He said he wanted to be locked up by the police for his own protection.
He was the first person on the scene after three senior Bandidos bikies were killed in late 1997 in the basement of the Blackmarket Cafe in Sydney.
Mr. Tarantino, who worked at the club, became convinced that bikies followed him and traveled around the country for years.
He changed his name and implemented & # 39; anti-surveillance & # 39; measures, the court was told.
He told the jury that he regretted admitting Quanne's murder in November 2016 because & # 39; it had affected so many people & # 39 ;.
& # 39; No-one would REAGICATE the pain we have endured & # 39 ;: DIEC FAMILY
Relatives wiped the tears from their eyes when a relative of Quanne Diec read a statement in the media on Wednesday afternoon:
& # 39; Today's result is not what we were hoping for.
& # 39; We are still trying the words & # 39; not guilty & # 39;
& # 39; It is difficult for us to understand how the jury came to this decision.
We wanted justice for Quanne and we didn't get it.
& # 39; The last 21 years have touched us deeply. No one should endure the pain we have undergone.
& # 39; The worst thing is that Quanne's body has never been found.
& # 39; We couldn't let her rest and give her the dignity she deserved.
& # 39; Someone out there knows where she is and for that person you have destroyed our family.
& # 39; Quanne was a beautiful twelve-year-old girl.
& # 39; We miss her and think about her every day.
& # 39; Thank you to the community for their support and the police for all their hard work. & # 39;
Outside Granville police station, Quanne & nephew Christine Woo (pictured with Quanne & # 39; s aunt Wendy Ng (left), mother Ann Die and father Sam Diec) made an emotional statement that the family is still taking the verdict. processing wax
The former bouncer of the night club was excited when he left the Supreme Court of the NSW on Wednesday
He told the police that he had kidnapped Quanne for ransom and then panicked and strangled her about 15 minutes later and buried her body somewhere south of Sydney.
The judges were shown a video of a fascinated man Tarantino who led the police through Bushland days later while searching for the area where he said he had buried the girl.
They also watched his second police interview, five days later, in which he said he felt terrible about what had happened.
Mr. Tarantino told the police that he could not remember various details and locations, but said he had left Quanne & # 39; s body on the side of the road, a short distance into the bushland.
He said he returned on a different date with a waste container to carry her body to another location.
& # 39; I just found a place and I dragged the trash can into the bush, dug a hole and placed Quanne there and that was it, & # 39; he said.
The NSW Supreme Court jury returned the non-guilty verdict after having deliberated for more than a week
In 2016, Tarantino entered a Sydney police station and admitted that he had kidnapped and killed Quanne before leading officers to Bushland in an attempt to find her body.
A picture presented as proof (photo) shows that the van Vinzent Tarantino agreed that he drove on the morning that Quanne Diec disappeared
Two psychiatrists and a psychologist agreed that he was suffering from a schizoaffective disorder that involved delusions and hallucinations when he confessed he was murdered.
The then girlfriend of Tarantino, Laila Faily, testified during the trial that she had gone with him in a van to an area she thought was a national park shortly after Quanne disappeared.
But her credibility was attacked by Mr. Tarantino & # 39; s lawyer, Belinda Rigg SC, who said her allegations over time & wildly & # 39; and inconsistent.
Mrs. Rigg said that there is & # 39; a reasonable possibility & # 39; was that a Vietnam veteran who had worked in a nearby postal center was involved in the disappearance of Quanne.
The now deceased man had expressed hatred of Asians, told people he was sexually interested in young girls and went on leave just after Quanne disappeared.
The public prosecutor told the jury earlier that people who worked with the man regarded him as a & # 39; beast & # 39; consider and stink. Allegedly he said disgusting racist and sexist things.
But according to the Kroon & # 39; that was the extent to which he was involved in any way in the disappearance of Quanne.
QUANNE DIEC: HOW VINZENT TESTED TARANTINO
July 27, 1998: Quanne Diec is picked from the street in Granville, just minutes after leaving home to take the train to Strathfield Girls & High School.
A neighbor told the police that she saw a girl boarding a white van that day. Quanne is never seen again.
November 2016: Vinzent Tarantino, an old police suspect in the death of Quanne, appears at the police station in Surry Hills and confesses her murder.
The police return to his home on Second St, Granville, to search for the remains of Quanne. The house was only 700 meters from the residence of Diec.
September 8, 2019: Tarantino does not plead guilty to the charges and his murder and kidnapping process begins
October 4, 2019: Tarantino & # 39; s two-hour police interview is being played in front of the jury, where he says: & I have kidnapped and killed her & # 39 ;.
In the interview, played in court, he says he doesn't remember much.
He claims that he told Quanne to get in the car as a & # 39; stupid ransom attempt & # 39; to get money, but relatives showed up unexpectedly and & # 39; I just panicked … I did something to her … I killed her & # 39 ;.
October 23, 2019: The jury was told that Tarantino claims that he did not pick up Quanne, but a sex worker known as & # 39; Dee & # 39 ;.
Prosecutors claim that the police were unsuccessful in trying & # 39; Dee & # 39; and said that her physical description was strikingly similar to Quanne's.
Prosecutors claim that Tarantino has a & # 39; false alibi & # 39; has given.
October 24, 2019: The jury is told in the closing speech of the defense that Tarantino only confessed that he thought he would be safer in prison.
& At that time, he and his whole being believed that there was a real and imminent risk of kidnapping, serious violence, torture and death of himself, his partner, his father and his brother, & # 39; said Belinda Rigg SC.
Mrs. Rigg told the jurors to consider whether it was a reasonable possibility that Tarantino had known a crime he had not committed.
& # 39; You must consider the mind of another, & # 39; she said.
November 6, 2019: After a lawsuit of seven weeks and another week of consultation, an NSW Supreme Court jury finds that Tarantino is not guilty of all charges
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