Cia Xia Lao

Address: Vic, Australia
Age: 53
Sex: Female
Ethnic background: Chinese


Date: 17 December 2015
Charges: Murder x2, causing injury, false imprisonment
Category: Murder
Court: Supreme Court of Victoria
Judge: Judge Lasry
Penalty: Life imprisonment

The Supreme Court of Victoria convicted Cia Xia Liao to two counts of murder, causing injury and false imprisonment.

The crimes arose out of Liao’s relationship with Brian Mach, who was the husband of the deceased woman, Mai Mach. Liao’s relationship with Brian Mach began in 2012 when she met him in China. At that time Brian Mach was separated from his wife. Over the following years Liao and Brian Mach remained in contact and a romantic relationship between them was established. Many of your communications were over an internet program known as ‘WeChat’.

From May 2012 onwards, the relationship between Liao and Brian Mach became quite intense. Liao claimed that Brian Mach promised marriage both to her privately and also in the presence of her family.

During 2013, whilst the relationship between the two of them continued, it became clear to Liao that Brian Mach was intending to continue in his marriage.

There were periods during which Liao and Brian Mach resided together during 2014 but in the early part of 2015 it was obvious to Liao that Brian Mach did not wish to commit to the relationship with her.

On 29 March 2015, a few days before the offences to which were committed, Liao asked Brian Mach to come to her place to discuss the relationship. On the following day, 30 March 2015, Liao went to Brian Mach’s house unannounced and demanded to take him to the Sunshine Police Station for the purpose of obtaining a statutory declaration which she intended would in some way nullify his marriage. He went with her but once at the police station refused to sign the statutory declaration and in fact wrote a letter signed by a Justice of the Peace affirming his marriage to his wife.

The following day, 31 March 2015, Liao went to Brian Mach’s house early in the morning leaving Liao’s own home at about 5.44am. At 6.00am, Liao observed Brian Mach’s wife, Mai, leave her address to go to work. Liao then went to the front door of Brian Mach’s house and were allowed to enter by him. Brian Mach asked herto leave but she refused. There was a further argument about Liao wanting him to leave his wife.

As it happened, on this day Brian Mach was looking after his four-year-old grandson, Alistair Kwong, and there were occasions on which the child woke up and had to be settled back to sleep by him.

According to the prosecution summary of opening, Brian Mach’s next recollection is of regaining consciousness while lying on the lounge-room floor tied up, his arms and legs secured with masking tape, his mouth stuffed with a rag. During this period of time, and while he was unconscious, Liao having drugged his drink at some stage during the morning, she went to the bedroom where four-year-old Alistair Kwong was sleeping and used a pair of garden shears to attack him around the face, head and throat killing him in the bed where he lay. He was then covered with a doona by Liao and left there.

During the afternoon when Brian Mach became conscious Liao asked him what time his wife was expected home. Liao also attacked him by kicking him in the head, face and chest as he was lying bound on the ground. Liao told Brian Mach that she was going to kill Mai when she arrived

home. Brian Mach asked about the welfare of his grandson but she gave him no response. She also threatened Brian Mach with the garden shears promising to push the pointed ends into his eye if he called out or made any noise.

At about 5.00pm, Mai Mach returned home and drove her vehicle into the backyard area closing the gates behind her. Liao ran out to the back with the same garden shears and attacked Mai Mach in that area. She used the shears to cut and/or chop at the head, face and neck region of Mai Mach causing her death in that backyard.

Liao then went back into the lounge-room and showed Brian Mach the garden shears and told him, ‘I used these. I cut the bitch’s throat’. Having now killed twice, you also told him that you were going to wait for Amy Mach, who was the mother of the child you had murdered earlier in the day to come and pick him up and that you would kill her as well.

Liao said to Brian Mach, ‘I’ve killed everyone to make you suffer and if I’m happy I’ll let you go with them’.

When the police attended they found Liao sitting on a couch next to where Brian Mach was lying on the floor. They observed the garden shears and a roll of tape that was sitting on the table next to Liao, she was then arrested.

Judge Lasry said, “The killing of a child is an extremely serious feature of your offending and is to be given considerable weight in the sentencing process. The justification for this position is that the murder of a and, in some instances, the most serious example of the offence of murder.”

Liao was sentenced to life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 32 years imprisonment.