Stab­bing was self de­fence: ac­cused

The Cairns Post - - NEWS - PETE MARTINELLI

A COOK­TOWN man ac­cused of mur­der­ing his neigh­bour for cash said he stabbed the pen­sioner six times in self de­fence.

Sa­muel Wells told Cairns Supreme Court yes­ter­day he acted in self de­fence when he stabbed his neigh­bour David McLel­land, 42, in Novem­ber 2017.

In ev­i­dence to the court Mr Wells, 22, said he at­tended Mr McLel­land’s house on Ha­garty Close in the evening of Novem­ber 3 after they had drunk to­gether next door.

“I of­fered him to come over for a beer, I was look­ing at his back the whole time,” Mr Wells said. “All of a sud­den, but qui­etly, he was mum­bling, I couldn't un­der­stand what he was say­ing.

“He ran at me with the knife – we strug­gled and I grabbed the knife, I stabbed him a num­ber of times ... I stabbed him about six times. I stabbed him in the side of the ribs.

“It hap­pened in sec­onds, I was in shock.”

The court heard that Mr McLel­land had been di­ag­nosed with schizophre­nia and was tak­ing anti-psy­chotics for the con­di­tion.

Pros­e­cu­tor Todd Fuller sug­gested to the de­fen­dant that dur­ing his po­lice in­ter­view, he said Mr McLel­land had fallen on the knife in the strug­gle.

“He may have tripped .... I’m not sure,” Mr Wells re­sponded.

The court this week heard that Mr Wells claimed his neigh­bour then stabbed him­self and slashed his own throat with the same knife.

Mr Fuller sug­gested blood had splashed on to Mr Wells’ cloth­ing as he knelt over him.

“You were lean­ing over him as you stabbed him, weren’t you,” Mr Fuller said. “He was on the floor as you were stab­bing him in the chest.”

“I’m not sure,” Mr Wells replied. Mr Fuller said Mr Wells’ state­ment to po­lice was at odds with what he told the court.

The jury is ex­pected to re­tire to con­sider a ver­dict to­day.

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