A man hired by a Sydney restaurateur to stab his wife to death almost 30 years ago has smiled for the cameras, despite facing the prospect of life behind bars.
Former Kings Cross bouncer Alani Afu, 51, had a big grin on his face and appeared to give a thumbs up as he was led into a prison van after his NSW Supreme Court sentencing hearing on Thursday.
He was found guilty of murdering Rita Caleo, who was fatally stabbed 23 times at her Double Bay townhouse in August 1990.
Her husband Mark Caleo, now 55, was found guilty of soliciting the murder of his wife.
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Alani Afu grinned for the cameras and gave a big thumbs up as he was led into a prison van after his NSW Supreme Court sentencing hearing on Thursday
Rita Caleo (pictured) was fatally stabbed 23 times at her Double Bay home 1990, 10 months after the shooting death of her brother Michael
Mr Caleo showed no emotion as he was led away by prison officers after the hearing.
Both men will be sentenced on July 26.
Afu faces life in jail while Mr Caleo faces a maximum of 20 years behind bars, 9 News reported.
Four victim impact statements were read out in court on Thursday, where it was revealed that Mr Caleo has never contacted his wife’s family since she died 18 years ago.
Mrs Caelo’s sister Angelina Chye said she found out about her sister’s murder of her sister through her parents in Malaysia, who were informed by a friend.
‘In the following days, weeks, years and to this day, Mark Caleo and his family have never contacted me or any of my family members,’ she said in her victim impact statement.
Her brother, David Chye added: ‘Although we had our suspicions, we felt powerless to do anything to bring her killers to justice.’
A handcuffed Mark Caleo showed no emotion is led away by prison officers on Thursday. He faces up to 20 years behind bars for his involvement in his wife’s murder
Rita Caelo’s s sister Angelina Chye (pictured) told the court on Thursday that her family hasn’t heard from Mark Caleo since Rita was killed 18 years ago
He said the family were already grieving the shooting death of their brother Michael when their sister was murdered.
Dr Michael Chye, 39, was fatally shot in the head as he drove into his Woollahra driveway 10 months prior to Mrs Caleo’s murder.
Both Angelina and David Chye said they then feared for their own safety and thought they would be the next targets and were forever looking over their shoulders.
‘I had already been depressed after Michael’s death, but became even more depressed and paranoid after Rita’s death,’ he said.
‘I was very worried about why she had been murdered and became concerned for my own safety. I did not like going out in public and often thought that someone was following me.’
Former Kings Cross bouncer Alani Afu (pictured on Thursday) will be sentenced on July 26, where he faces the possibility of life behind bars
Rita Caleo penned a chilling letter (pictured), where she predicted her own death three months before she was fatally stabbed
Ms Chye said it was deemed unsafe for the siblings to attend her sister’s funeral.
She said she instead sat in her room and cried.
‘Mark Caleo and Alani Afu have had the freedom to carry on with their normal everyday lives,’ she said.
‘My family and I have been living in the spectre of Rita’s death for the last 30 years in pain, anger and helplessness. Now, my family and I have the freedom.’
Caleo refused to look at anyone as they delivered victim impact statements in court, instead staring at the floor.
Mrs Caleo predicted her own death just months before she was fatally stabbed in a chilling letter, which was tendered to the court in April.
Former Sydney restaurateur Mark Caleo, now 55, (pictured) was found guilty of soliciting the murder of his wife Rita in 1990
‘My family and I have been living in the spectre of Rita’s death for the last 30 years in pain, anger and helplessness,’ Angelina Chye (pictured) said
‘In the event that my death is unnatural, direct the investigation to my husband Mark Caleo, Rick Damelian of Rick Damelian Used Cars. P’matta. My brother’s death is also their doing,’ her letter, dated May 15 1990, reads.
‘He (Mark) gets very desperate when he is squeezed financially like what I’m doing to him as a result of his affair … this is the absolute truth — please do not let Mark get away with this.’
Prior to her death, the court heard Mrs Caleo discovered her husband was having an affair with Janice Yap, a woman named in her letter.
Mrs Caleo gave the letter to her solicitor and instructed it only be opened if her death was deemed unnatural.
Rita Caleo’s brother Dr Michael Chye, 39, (pictured) was fatally shot in the head as he drove into his Woollahra driveway in October 1989
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5921221/Hit-man-Alani-Afu-smiles-led-prison-sentencing-Rita-Caleos-stabbing-murder.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490 Source: MailOnline | Copyright © MailOnline, All Rights Reserved