A DEADLY REACTION
RAGE BEHIND TRAGEDY:
A CAPE York man has been acquitted of murder after a jury found he was provoked into a reaction that killed a woman and seriously injured eight others.
Garry Paul Hudson twice rammed a Toyota LandCruiser ute into a Kowanyama home filled with people mourning his dead partner Katherine George.
As a result Delanne Zingle, whom he had argued with moments before and had told him to leave the house, was killed on October 7, 2016.
Barrister Josh Trevino said, in his closing address in the Cairns Supreme Court, that Hudson “was pushed well past his limit” and “mindlessly lashed out” in response to a grave level of provocation.
“His actions, as shocking and as terrible as they are, were fuelled by his grief, the powerlessness of his situation, rather than any desire to hurt or kill those inside,” he said.
Hudson, 57, was involved in a bitter dispute with Ms George’s family over where her funeral service should be held, but a compromise was reached that it would be at the morgue.
Not long after, Ms George’s family broke the agreement and had her body moved to her sister’s house at 184 Kowan- yama St without telling Mr Hudson.
“And ultimately he was excluded from his own partner’s funeral,” Mr Trevino said.
He told the court that these circumstances “would cause anyone to snap”.
Crown prosecutor Nigel Rees argued Hudson’s actions were in a murderous rage.
“He uses that vehicle as a weapon … (and) deliberately drives into the house,” Mr Rees said. “He took matters into his own hands and exacted his revenge.”
But Mr Trevino said: “He had been pushed to a place where he had suffered a complete lack of control over events that were of most importance to him.”
The seven-man, fivewoman jury took just 14 minutes to return a verdict of not guilty to murder.
Hudson had already pleaded guilty at the start of the four-day trial to manslaughter and dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm.
Twenty victim impact statements were tendered to the court.
Justice James Henry will sentence Hudson on Monday morning.
GRIEVING: Garry Paul Hudson has been acquitted of murder but had already pleaded guilty to manslaughter and dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm.
TRAGIC SCENE: The house at Kowanyama where a vehicle ploughed into mourners gathered for a funeral.