A woman was overheard arguing with a man and threatening to tell his wife about their affair about a fortnight before she fatally stabbed him, a jury has been told.
Doug Barrett and Tracey Kerr were seen having a ‘‘screaming match’’ at the front of his Echuca home about two weeks before he died from a heart attack brought on by being stabbed around midnight on May 25, 2012, the Supreme Court heard on Thursday.
A neighbour of Mr Barrett’s said he saw and heard his friend and Ms Kerr arguing outside his Pascoe Street home and that she claimed she would go to Mr Barrett’s wife, Hazel, unless she was given money.
‘‘I clearly heard Tracey say, ‘If you don’t give me some money I will tell Hazel’,’’ the neighbour, who cannot be named, told the court.
Ms Kerr, 42, of Echuca, has pleaded not guilty to one count of murder.
She admitted stabbing Mr Barrett, but later told police she did so in self-defence when he tried to undo her pants, made suggestive remarks and tried to rape her in the bungalow behind his house, the court heard.
The court heard Mr Barrett, 67, died from a heart attack brought on either by being stabbed in the neck or from the shock of suffering cuts to his eyes, or that the heart attack was brought on by a combination of the injuries.
Footage of the crime scene played to the jury showed Mr Barrett’s body on the floor of the bungalow, with chairs in the room overturned and arrows across the room.
Mr Barrett was an archery enthusiast who used the bungalow to make bows and arrows and to entertain friends, the court heard.
Another friend told the court Mr Barrett regularly hosted barbecues in his backyard and at one point admitted he had had sex with an Aboriginal woman, and motioned towards Ms Kerr but did not name her.
In his opening address to the jury, prosecutor Peter Rose, QC, said Ms Kerr walked to the home of her son, Daniel, soon after Mr Barrett was stabbed and said: ‘‘I’ve just stabbed someone.’’
Mr Rose said Ms Kerr dropped a white-handled knife on the floor of her son’s home.
Mrs Barrett said she let Ms Kerr into her home on the afternoon of May 25, 2012, before the accused woman went to the bungalow to see Mr Barrett.
Mrs Barrett said she suspected Ms Kerr had been drinking alcohol and that she appeared ‘‘physically not very good’’.
The neighbour said he also visited that afternoon to return some tools and found Mr Barrett and Ms Kerr on the couch with drinks in their hands, before she put her arm around Mr Barrett and said ‘‘Isn’t he a sweetie? He’s all mine’’.
The court heard Mr Kerr, his mother and Mr Barrett that night went to a bottle shop to buy alcohol, where Ms Kerr was seen by the store attendant swearing and appeared intoxicated. The trio then returned to the bungalow before Mr Kerr went home.
Mr Rose told the jury it was the crown case that Ms Kerr had shown the intent to either kill or seriously injure Mr Barrett when she stabbed him.
But defence counsel Shane Tyrrell said Ms Kerr had consistently claimed Mr Barrett had tried to rape her and that it was up to the prosecution to prove she displayed deliberate intent to kill when she stabbed him.
Mr Tyrrell told the jury Ms Kerr had the intellectual capacity of a seven-year-old, had an intellectual disability and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
The trial continues before Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth.