Bloke recruited to kill Facebook Marketplace seller over counterfeit AirPods

A bloke has been jailed for at least 21 years after he was hired to kill another man following a quarrel over AirPods.

Abdul Karaali, 29, was one of two men found guilty of the murder of Ross Houllis in Sydney, Australia on February 14, 2020.

The other, Sami Hamdach, recruited Karaali to kill Houllis, 28, as he believed the victim had sold him counterfeit versions of the Apple earphones on Facebook Marketplace, a forum used to trade, buy and sell secondhand goods.

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The day before the attack Hamdach contacted Karaali to carry out the violent act of revenge.

Justice Stephen Campbell told New South Wales Supreme Court Karaali was "a willing recruit" in the plot.

"He had plenty of time to consider the ramifications of Hamdach’s plan and pull out," he said.

The pair pair punched, kicked, and stamped on Houllis and dragged him through the car park of Wakeley Shopping Centre and he suffered a "catastrophic" brain injury that caused his death three days later.

Although Hamdach was the one who planned the attack, it was Karaali who committed the murder, with CCTV capturing the assault.

"I am satisfied that those blows were delivered with the intent to kill Mr Houllis," Justice Campbell added.

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Karaali also stopped Houllis from escaping the attack and prevented members of the public from helping the victim.

Justice Campbell continued: "It is no easy thing to kill another human being by punching, kicking and stomping.

"It requires a determination to go on with it. Mr Houllis must have been very afraid."

Karaali was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 28 years in prison, with a minimum period of 21 years before parole.

Hamdach pleaded guilty to murder earlier this year and was sentenced to at least 12 years.

Speaking in court, the judge called the reason behind the attack "trivial" and "grossly disproportionate" to the horrific fate Houllis suffered.

The victim's mum, Janet Houllis, said she was unhappy Karaali may be released one day "as if [her] son’s death was nothing but a mishap, a speed bump on his life".

"It seems to me [Karaali] did not care that he had taken another’s life over something that didn’t really have anything to do with him," she said.

"How can someone kill my son over AirPods and money?"

Karaali will be eligible for parole in 2041.

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