SYDNEY – The daughter of long-serving former Australian state Premier Neville Wran was charged Thursday with murder over the stabbing death of a small-time drug dealer in Sydney.
Harriet Wran, 26, was also charged with the attempted murder of a second man and aggravated break and enter. Two men face similar charges.
They are accused of killing Daniel McNulty, 48, who was stabbed at a public housing block in inner-city Redfern on Sunday. A second man was found with multiple stab wounds and is in a hospital.
Wran, the goddaughter of late media mogul Kerry Packer, was last in the public eye in May at the state funeral of her father, which was attended by a roll call of heavyweight political figures.
Neville Wran was the premier of Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, from 1976 until his sudden retirement in 1986, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott calling him “one of the most significant figures of his generation.”
Despite coming from a privileged background, Harriet Wran has been addicted to the drug ice, also known as crystal meth or methamphetamine, for a considerable period of time and was living penniless on the streets, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. said.
Other reports said Wran, a modern history student at the University of Sydney, took the death of her father hard and was allegedly attempting to buy drugs worth 70 Australian dollars ($65), with the two men also charged, when a fight broke out and McNulty was stabbed.
The Sydney Morning Herald said Wran had told police she was “numb on ice” at the time.
Her barrister, Winston Terracini, said outside Liverpool Local Court that his client would fight the charges. “I’ve indicated at this stage we’ll be pleading not guilty,” he said.
Wran’s mother, Jill, flew in from Brisbane but refused to comment, only saying “Please don’t” when approached by reporters.
The case was adjourned until Oct. 8.