‘ I WAS KNIFED FIRST’

Townsville Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - LUCY SMITH

THE man on trial over the fren­zied stab­bing mur­der of Corinne Hen­der­son claims she stabbed him first.

In an ex­tra­or­di­nary day of testimony in the Supreme Court in Townsville yes­ter­day, Dane An­drew Pilcher ( right) ad­mit­ted he was “par­tially re­spon­si­ble” for his ex- girl­friend’s death but did not mean to kill her. Pilcher, 38, has pleaded not guilty to mur­der­ing the fly- in, fly- out mine worker, who died af­ter be­ing stabbed 21 times late on Septem­ber 26, 2015.

Af­ter break­ing into her third- floor Idalia unit to con­front her over her new re­la­tion­ship, Pilcher told the court he walked to­wards Ms Hen­der­son “to put my hands around her hips” when she stabbed him.

THE man ac­cused of the fren­zied stab­bing mur­der of Corinne Hen­der­son claims she stabbed him first.

In an ex­tra­or­di­nary day of testimony in the Supreme Court in Townsville yes­ter­day, Dane An­drew Pilcher ad­mit­ted he was “par­tially re­spon­si­ble” for his ex- girl­friend’s death but said he did not mean to kill her.

Pilcher, 38, has pleaded not guilty to mur­der­ing the fly- in, fly- out mine worker, who died af­ter be­ing stabbed 21 times late on Septem­ber 26, 2015.

He told the court he had been drink­ing at Cow­boys Leagues Club when a for­mer co­worker sent him a Face­book photo of Ms Hen­der­son at the races with Dwayne Wick­ham, whom Pilcher had sus­pected Ms Hen­der­son was see­ing.

He said he was “gut­ted” and took a taxi to Ms Hen­der­son’s unit at Sanc­tu­ary Apart­ments, Idalia, af­ter 10pm.

Pilcher told the court he climbed around a tim­ber frame cov­er­ing an air­con­di­tioner and kicked through the kitchen win­dow.

He said he was bleed­ing pro­fusely and went to Ms Hen­der­son’s bed­room to see if Mr Wick­ham was there. He said he then re­turned to the liv­ing area and saw Ms Hen­der­son hold­ing a kitchen knife.

“I just started say­ing ‘ Corinne, I’ve seen the photo, I’ve seen the photo. What are you do­ing?’ I think the ques­tion was ‘ Are you f----- him?’” he said. “I said just tell me what’s hap­pen­ing so I can leave.”

Pilcher said he walked to­wards Ms Hen­der­son to “put my hands around her hips” when she stabbed him.

He said he “screamed at her” and tried to get the knife. “We en­gaged in a wres­tle of sorts. I was try­ing to grab the knife off her, she had the knife in her hands,” he said.

“Corinne spun, we both fell down to the ground, we hit the tiles, Corinne was face down on the ground, I was on top of her and my chest was against her back.”

Crown pros­e­cu­tor Michael Cowen QC asked Pilcher why Ms Hen­der­son had been stabbed in her front and back.

“I can only sug­gest, she had many wounds to her hands, as did I, I can only sug­gest that they were sus­tained when we were fight­ing over the knife,” Pilcher said.

Mr Cowen said: “Can I sug­gest this to you, you had her by the hair and you were hack­ing into her face, neck and head with that knife … And when she turned in­stinc­tively to seek sanc­tu­ary in her bed­room, you stabbed her re­peat­edly in the back.” Pilcher de­nied the sug­ges­tion. Mr Cowen ques­tioned Pilcher about the fact that he told med­i­cal staff that he had killed some­one.

“I have never de­nied, Mr Cowen, of ad­mit­ting par­tial re­spon­si­bil­ity for Corinne’s death. What I deny is I in­ten­tion­ally went there to kill her,” he said.

Pilcher told the court that af­ter he saw the photo of Mr Wick­ham and Ms Hen­der­son, he text mes­saged a friend that he would “kill them both”. “It’s a fig­ure of speech, a turn of phrase. In hind­sight it was a very poorly cho­sen fig­ure of speech, it cer­tainly wasn’t meant to be taken lit­er­ally,” he said.

Dane An­drew Pilcher.

Corinne Hen­der­son.

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