Harriet Wran before her arrest. Harriet Wran arrives at the NSW Supreme Court for her sentencing hearing. Photo: Michele Mossop
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Daniel McNulty was murdered in his Redfern unit in August 2014. Photo: Supplied

Jill Hickson Wran arrives at the NSW Supreme Court for the sentencing hearing of her daughter Harriet Wran. Photo: Michele Mossop

Harriet Wran said she regrets every step she took the night she was involved in the murder of Sydney man Daniel McNulty.

The daughter of former premier Neville Wran became teary as she told the NSW Supreme Court about her battle with anorexia, bulimia and the ice addiction that led to her involvement in the murder.

“I feel terrible. I’m ashamed to have been involved in anything like that. I can’t believe someone died. I can’t believe someone was so badly hurt,” Wran told her sentencing hearing on Thursday.

“I regret every step I took that night,” she said.

Under cross-examination from Crown prosecutor Peter McGrath, SC, Wran said she felt jail had saved her life.

“I think I would have killed myself [with drugs],” she said.

Mr McNulty was murdered by Wran’s boyfriend of two weeks Michael Lee and another man Lloyd Haines during a botched ice deal at a public housing unit in Redfern on August 10, 2014.

Last Wednesday, Wran pleaded guilty to a charge of harbouring, maintaining or assisting Lee, knowing that he had murdered Mr McNulty.

In the days leading up to the murder, Wran said she had left a rehab clinic and gone on an ice binge.

“This time I had failed everyone, I had failed myself, I had failed my mum.

“I just wanted to hurt myself, I just wanted to use so much so I couldn’t remember who I really was.”

Wran told the court she first tried ice after meeting a group of users at a rehabilitation clinic she went to for depression.

“[Ice] gave me a completely different feeling and suddenly all my insecurities were gone,” she said.

“I felt so confident, there was just a chemical high I never knew existed … I knew straight away that my brain wasn’t going to forget about that.”

Wran’s mother Jill Hickson Wran looked away as her daughter spoke about her eating disorders.

“It’s [bulimia’s] the worst thing in the world, it’s the hardest thing to deal with, it’s the most shameful thing to deal with, it’s so embarrassing, it’s so disgusting yet it’s an impulsive thing I can’t stop doing.”

Wran told the court she had not realised that someone had died until the next day.

When she did find out, she continued to use ice and did not contact police.

“The addiction drove me to be silent about what happened because I just wanted to get this ice.”

Wran has vowed never to touch drugs again.

“It won’t happen – because somebody died and I was involved in something that led to that and I know that I won’t pick up drugs again,” she said.

“I never thought in a million years I’d end up in jail, let alone for murder. I’ve never intended for anyone to get hurt in my life; it was almost not real to begin with.

“Once I realised it was real, it was too much at times.”

Wran bared all, speaking openly about the loss of her father.

At times Ms Hickson Wran closed her eyes and put her hands over her face.

“I was glad that I was there when he passed but it was so painful for him, he was in so much pain,” she said.

“I’ve never seen anything like that before. It was so strange that his journey had finally ended.”

Armed with knives and a hammer

The court heard previously that Wran went to the high-rise block on Walker Street with Lee and Haines, whom she had just met, to score ice from the victim.

But after she knocked on the door, Haines and Lee entered the unit armed with knives and a hammer and demanded: “Where is it?”

During a fight that broke out, Mr McNulty was fatally stabbed.

Wran, Lee and Haines then ran from the apartment.

Investigating police were able to identify the trio by viewing the security footage from the housing estate.

Haines was arrested when he attended Parramatta police station on the Tuesday after the attack.

Wran and Lee were later found by police at Liverpool train station on the Wednesday, still dressed in the clothes the CCTV footage showed them wearing on the night of the attack.

Shortly before their joint murder trial was due to begin last month, Lee and Haines pleaded guilty to all charges against them – including murder.

Lee pleaded guilty on June 16 while Haines pleaded guilty on June 21.

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