A man whose daughter was allegedly threatened by the son of murdered man Darren Reid has told a Supreme Court jury he was at home the night of the fatal fire attack on the Long Gully resident.
Kate Stone, 41, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of her partner, Mr Reid.
Mr Reid suffered fatal burns about 11.30pm on December 18, 2016 at the couple’s Derwent Drive home and died the following day.
Paul Gibson told the court he only met Mr Reid once, when he dropped Mr Reid’s son home in November 2016.
He said he went to the house a second time, after an incident in which Mr Reid’s son allegedly threatened his daughter and the son of a Benjamin Thatcher at the splash park.
Mr Gibson said he went around to say he did not want the son at his house anymore, telling the court Mr Thatcher had gone ahead of him and a man named Glenn Anderson was following behind.
There was already an argument under way when he arrived, he said, and he then left.
He said the police arrived at his house later and told him not to go to that address again.
In a police interview recorded December 19, 2016, Mr Gibson said he was at home with his daughter, his son and his son’s friend the night of the attack on Mr Reid.
- Day 1: Murder trial begins for woman accused of setting partner alight
- Day 2: Murdered Bendigo man in fear for his life, mother tells court
- Day 3: Couple heard yelling in hours before fatal Long Gully fire
- Day 4: Murdered man told paramedic he did not know attacker, court hears
- Day 5: Daughter says three men set father on fire in Long Gully
- Day 6: Murder accused told police men were to blame for death
- Day 7: Man denies talking ‘revenge’ after confrontation with murdered man
- Day 8: Man not in area night of fatal Long Gully attack, court hears
- Day 9: Neighbours heard death threats before murder, court hears
During cross-examination, Mr Gibson said he had never been told it was Mr Reid who “forced” his son to threaten Mr Gibson’s daughter at the splash park.
When it was put to him that police had given evidence Mr Gibson denied going to Mr Reid’s house that day, he maintained police had told him “don’t go around there and next time call police”.
Gail Arthur told the court on Wednesday Jason Baxter – a man Ms Stone blamed for Mr Reid’s death – visited her house with his son that evening about dinnertime.
Mr Baxter and his son left for a couple of hours, she said, then came back about 11pm.
Ms Arthur said knew it was “definitely” at that time because there was a clock by the front door she looked at when answering the door.
She said they stayed “easily a couple of hours” while Mr Baxter dried a couple of loads of clothes.
Her husband, Trevor Arthur, also told the court Mr Baxter and his son first arrived at dinnertime that night and stayed for about an hour and a half.
Mr Arthur said he too left the house and came back no later than 9pm, and believed Mr Baxter returned, either before he got back or not long after.
Mr Baxter left the house again about 11pm, Mr Arthur said, as did he, before he returned about 15 minutes later and Mr Baxter about 11.30pm.
The following day Mr Baxter was at the house when police arrived, the court heard, and Mr Arthur called out “Pigs”, so Mr Baxter ran away.
Defence counsel Peter Kilduff asked Mr Arthur if he said that because he knew a person had been burnt the night before. “No, we’ve got a history of being harshly dealt with by police,” he said.
The trial continues.
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