The Cairns Post

Jury told of fatal contest


A JURY has heard the man accused of fatally stabbing an Innisfail father was attacked in his home by a man with “lethal levels” of meth in his blood before a fight broke out that led to his death.

Clay Stone, 31, has been tried for manslaught­er in the Cairns Supreme Court for his part in the October 2019 stabbing death of Raymond Smerdelj at an Edith St address.

In summing up arguments on day five of the trial defence barrister Frank Richards told the court his client was a resident of the flats when Mr Smerdelj came to his door with no money looking to score a “half ball” or 1.75g of methamphet­amine.

The court heard Mr Stone had previously lied about having drugs in a ruse to solicit sex from Brittany Eyles.

“In my submission this case is about a naive young man whose ill-considered and misguided attempts of bravado placed himself in harm’s way,” Mr Richards told the court.

“Ultimately there became a contest between the two men. Clay Stone was 30 years of age 177cm tall … 82kg in weight and he was clearly flabby, he was crook, he was unwell,” he said.

“Compare that to Mr Smerdelj who was 183cm tall, his weight … comes out at 83.6kg and he appeared to be fit and lean. If these two individual­s were vehicles, Clay Stone was a clapped out VW with a broken cylinder head running dirty fuel and Mr Smerdelj was a V8 muscle car running on rocket fuel.

“(And) the level of methamphet­amine in Mr Smerdelj blood was 0.81mg per kilogram … so it is a high level.”

Crown prosecutor Danny Boyle in summing up the case against Mr Stone asked the jury to consider the way in which a 15cm stab wound was inflicted.

“The fact that this is a perpendicu­lar stab wound to Mr Smerdelj would seem to suggest it was not just pushing out with a hand clenched around a knife,” he said.

“If someone was stabbed by accident, what would you do? Would you not render assistance to the person who has been stabbed?

“What he did in stabbing him was deliberate.”

Arguing against a self-defence defence Mr Boyle explained to the jury the level of force had to match the threat.

“You are looking at the level of violence in the self-defence that is justifiabl­e or lawful (and that) depends on the level of danger created by the attacker,” he said.

Mr Boyle said the accused was driven by anger that Mr Smerdelj was on his property and bravado to impress a woman he was infatuated with.

“What he did was not in self-defence … what he did was not in defence of his dwelling,” Mr Boyle told the court.

“He stabbed a person in the left chest … it’s not rocket science, if you are going to kill someone with a knife (you would) stab them in the heart.”

The jury retired to consider a verdict in the manslaught­er case on Monday.

 ?? ?? Raymond Smerdelj.
Raymond Smerdelj.

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