The next-door neighbours of Darren Reid and the woman accused of murdering him have told a Supreme Court jury they heard someone make a threat to kill amid arguing the evening Mr Reid suffered fatal burns.
The Crown alleges Mr Reid’s partner, Kate Stone, doused Mr Reid in fuel and set him on fire at their Derwent Drive, Long Gully home late on December 18, 2016.
Ms Stone has pleaded not guilty to murder.
Nanar Htoo told the court, through an interpreter, she heard arguing from the house next door perhaps once a week in the months her neighbours lived there.
There were male and female voices, she said.
“I heard people talking very loud, yelling, and I thought they fight, but I’m not sure,” Ms Htoo said.
- Murder trial begins for woman accused of setting partner alight
- Murdered Bendigo man in fear for his life, mother tells court
- Couple heard yelling in hours before fatal Long Gully fire
- Murdered man told paramedic he did not know attacker, court hears
- Daughter says three men set father on fire in Long Gully
- Murder accused told police men were to blame for death
- Man denies talking ‘revenge’ after confrontation with murdered man
- Man not in area night of fatal Long Gully attack, court hears
She told the court she heard yelling on the evening of December 18, 2016, maybe between 5pm and 6pm, and again at 7pm or 8pm.
There was one sentence she understood, she said: “The man said ‘I will kill you’.” There were also sounds like people hitting each other, Ms Htoo said.
During cross-examination, the court heard Ms Htoo said in her statement she heard a woman say “Stop doing that” and a man say “I’m going to kill you”.
Also through an interpreter, Ma Nay Lar said he perhaps heard people yelling that night when he went to bed about 11pm, before police and an ambulance arrived.
He said he also heard something he thought was possibly people hitting each other.
The court heard during defence lawyer Peter Kilduff’s cross-examination that Mr Lar first told police he was asleep at the time and did not hear nor see anything, but Mr Lar said that was the case earlier that evening.
During re-examination, Mr Lar said the police officer did not have an interpreter with them.
The court also heard Mr Lar heard a bang around the time he heard raised voices.
He said he had never heard the voice of the man next door.
On Tuesday, Mr Kilduff continued cross-examination of Jason Baxter, a man Ms Stone blamed for Mr Reid’s death.
The barrister suggested to Mr Baxter he poured petrol over Mr Reid and set him alight on the night of December 18, 2016.
“That is just outrageous and ridiculous. I resent that accusation,” Mr Baxter said.
He also rejected suggestions he was involved in an alleged assault on Ms Stone on November 27 that year.
He said was angry about an incident during which his niece was allegedly threatened with a knife at the splash park, but denied he attended Mr Reid’s home that day with a man named Paul Gibson.
The court heard his son – with whom Mr Baxter said he spent the night of December 18, 2016 – told police the following day he had not seen his father in four weeks.
“He thinks I’m in trouble, and he doesn’t want to get me in trouble,” Mr Baxter said.
Mr Baxter said he was at a friend’s house at the time Mr Reid was attacked.
He told the court he received a phone call while there, warning him not to drive in the area because there were police around.
The trial continues.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.