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'Very normal' man accused of five murders

AAP logoAAP 14/11/2016 Margaret Scheikowski

A man accused of murdering five family members in their home was "a very normal person", a Sydney jury has been told.

"He is a very normal person just like my other friends," Bruce Cheang told the NSW Supreme Court on Monday.

Mr Cheang was the fourth and final defence witness at the trial of Robert Xie who has pleaded not guilty to murdering five relatives of his wife in their bedrooms at their Sydney home in the early hours of Saturday, July 18, 2009.

The 52-year-old is accused of using a hammer-like object to inflict horrific head injuries on his newsagent brother-in-law Min Lin, 45, his wife Lily Lin, 43, her sister Irene, 39, and the Lin's two sons, Henry, 12, and Terry, 9.

The crown says Xie was motived to kill them out of jealousy, being infuriated with his perceived "subordinate status" within the extended family.

Being familiar with the layout of the house, he allegedly disconnected the electricity before creeping into the North Epping home when the family was asleep.

Mr Cheang told the jury he and Xie were members of a group which regularly played badminton.

In his experience, Xie was a fairly gentle person and a good family man whom he trusted.

However, he agreed with the suggestion that assessing people was not a perfect science.

Both the crown and defence have finished their cases at the trial which opened on June 29.

Prosecutor Tanya Smith will begin the crown closing submissions on Thursday.

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