Ac­cused mur­derer ‘ ar­gued with vic­tim’

Townsville Bulletin - - News - by Roanne John­son roanne. john­son@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

AN In­n­is­fail man ac­cused of killing a Mys­ter­ton man was al­legedly drink­ing with the de­ceased and ar­gu­ing with him over al­co­hol the night be­fore his body was found.

The com­mit­tal hear­ing of Alan Brian Wood, 37, who is ac­cused of the mur­der of Michael James McGrath, 51, started yes­ter­day in the Townsville Mag­is­trates Court in front of Mag­is­trate Peter Smid.

Po­lice pros­e­cu­tor He­len Ar­mitage called Wes­ley Joseph Mabo to the stand.

Mr Mabo shared a rental prop­erty in Kings Rd, Mys­ter­ton with five oth­ers in­clud­ing Mr McGrath who was found dead on March 28, 2010, in­side the home.

Mr Mabo said he re­turned from work at 10pm Satur­day and was twice wo­ken by ar­gu­ing be­tween Mr McGrath and an­other male whose voice he did not recog­nise.

‘‘ There were raised voices, a bit of ar­gu­ing and swearing,’’ he said.

Mr Mabo said that at 4.30am he was wo­ken again by the noise and greeted on the stairs by a gen­tle­man he did not know on the stairs, but whom he iden­ti­fied in the court­room as Mr Wood.

‘‘ He told me pretty much what hap­pened, they were ar­gu­ing about money . . . along the lines of ‘ I shouted him $ 100 worth of charge ( al­co­hol) so I could stay over’,’’ he said.

The house­mate then saw Mr McGrath through the half-opened bed­room door slumped over at the edge of the bed, un­in­jured but ‘‘ re­ally in­tox­i­cated and not mov­ing’’.

The com­mit­tal also heard from Con­sta­ble James Wood ( no re­la­tion to the ac­cused), who was one of two po­lice­men who ar­rested Mr Wood in the car park of the Mund­ing­burra IGA shop­ping com­plex on Sun­day at 9.30am.

Const Wood said they were tasked to find a man who had been call­ing 000 telling them his lo­ca­tion and that he was armed with a knife.

When the of­fi­cers ar­rived they moved in af­ter see­ing the de­fen­dant sitting on the kerb with a mo­bile phone to his ear and what looked like a blood stain on his shorts.

Un­der cross-ex­am­i­na­tion by de­fence bar­ris­ter Tony Collins, the con­sta­ble said he had no idea the 000 caller they were look­ing for ‘‘ claimed to have killed some­one ear­lier that morn­ing’’ and thought the man they took into cus­tody had been ar­rested for breach­ing the peace.

Const Wood gave ev­i­dence a knife was never found and the de­fen­dant’s de­meanour seemed a lit­tle odd be­fore his ar­rest.

‘‘ He jumped straight up and walked to­wards us ( when we ar­rived) . . . he ap­peared to be quite friendly, just overly joy­ful in some ways,’’ Const Wood said.

Mr Collins told the court his client had a blood al­co­hol read­ing of 0.14 per cent six hours af­ter his ar­rest.

The com­mit­tal con­tin­ues to­day.

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