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Cheated lover not guilty of Sydney murder

AAP logoAAP 2/11/2016 Rebekah Ison

Just over six months ago, Roy Tabalbag was deemed to be a murderer.

But on Wednesday a second jury found the 31-year-old's frenzied stabbing attack of his partner's lover was manslaughter instead.

Tabalbag killed chef Amin Sthapit, 30, after catching him having sex with his long-time partner Geecy Rebucas in the couple's Darling Point unit in Sydney's east in November 2013.

He cried after the NSW Supreme Court jury handed down their 11-1 majority verdict on the manslaughter charge on Wednesday, after his previous conviction for murder was quashed on appeal earlier this year.

The retrial has heard Tabalbag, who stabbed Mr Sthapit around 15 times, saw the cheating pair naked on his bed through a partially opened front door.

He testified he felt "rage" and "anger" and had an out-of-body experience after catching the pair in the act.

Though he could "see" himself swinging the knife, which had been given to Ms Rebucas by Mr Sthapit, he can't remember the blade connecting, the court heard.

"I didn't mean to hurt anyone, let alone kill someone on that day," said Tabalbag, who grabbed the knife once he was inside the house.

Tabalbag also told the court he'd been secretly tracking Ms Rebucas' iPhone every day for a week because he suspected she was having an affair.

On the morning of the killing, she texted to say she was at TAFE, but Tabalbag checked her phone's location on an app and found she was still at home.

Ms Rebucas testified she yelled words to the effect of "it's my fault" and "leave him alone" during the attack, which spilled from the bathroom out to near the couple's bed.

She also recalled Tabalbag, who she'd never seen be violent towards anyone, stabbing Mr Sthapit in the back as he leant injured on the bed.

"I just can't believe he (Tabalbag) is capable of doing something like that," said Ms Rebucas, who moved from the Philippines with Tabalbag.

"He (Tabalag) just keeps on saying, 'why, why have you done this?'"

Mr Stahpit and Ms Rebucas met and worked at the Golden Sheaf hotel in Double Bay.

There was still blood in and on Tabalbag's car when he handed himself into police, the trial heard.

"I caught my wife cheating with another guy so I stabbed him," the court heard he told an officer.

"How many times?" the officer asked.

"Many times."

The jury in Tabalbag's original trial was reduced from 12 to 11 after one member said they couldn't come to a decision because of their Buddhist beliefs and also had trouble understanding English.

Tabalbag was convicted of murder on a 10-1 majority but the court of criminal appeal subsequently ordered a retrial after finding the judge had erred in his direction to the jury about delivering a majority verdict.

His manslaughter sentencing submissions are expected to be heard on Friday afternoon..

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