The neighbour of a woman accused of killing her partner says she told him she “did it” days after the fatal incident, the Supreme Court has heard.
The Crown alleges Kate Stone, 41, killed 45-year-old Darren Reid by setting him on fire at their Long Gully home on December 18, 2016. She has pleaded not guilty.
Ms Stone’s then-neighbour Dylan Fish told the court he first became aware of the incident the night of December 18, when the young girl from across the road banged on his front door.
“(She was) quite distressed… and upset and screaming and that, you know, the dad’s on fire and he’s dead,” Mr Fish said.
The court heard he called triple zero at 11.38pm.
- 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
- Day 10: Man tells court he was home the night of Darren Reid’s murder
A few days later, Mr Fish said, he was in his front yard playing with his children when Ms Stone approached and asked if he wanted some statues she had.
He told the court he asked Ms Stone how she was going, and she replied she was fine and she “did it”.
Mr Fish said he and his partner then talked about whether he should report it to police.
During cross-examination, the jury heard Mr Fish told police about this conversation with Ms Stone in March this year.
Defence barrister Peter Kilduff suggested the witness did not attend a police station to share this information earlier because it never happened, but Mr Fish said he was not lying.
Mr Fish said he and his partner debated telling police, but were fearful.
“You thought (Ms Stone) was being tough and silly, is that your evidence?” Mr Kilduff said.
“It could’ve been any reason,” Mr Fish replied.
The cross-examination of another witness, Paul Gibson, continued.
Mr Gibson denied going to Mr Reid’s house with Jason Baxter – a man blamed by Ms Stone for the murder – the night the murdered man was attacked.
Mr Gibson also denied arranging payback against Mr Reid with Mr Baxter and others in relation to an earlier incident in which Mr Reid’s son allegedly threatened his daughter at the splash park.
“Darren Reid didn’t do anything, it was the little boy who did it anyway,” he said.
Mr Gibson’s son, who is also the nephew of Jason Baxter, also gave evidence.
The boy told the court he was home the night of December 18, 2016 with his father, his sister and his friend.
He said he got home about 7.30pm and he and his friend spent the night listening to music and watching TV.
The boy said his father was “on the couch, having a can or... asleep, doing something”. The court heard he woke his father, who was sleeping on the couch, about midnight and told him it was time for bed.
The trial continues.
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