Body tied ‘in prayer’

Carer wanted to give pen­sioner last rites after slay­ing

The Weekend Post - - News - PETE MARTINELLI [email protected]

THE full-time carer of a slain dis­abled pen­sioner told a Cairns court he bound his vic­tim’s corpse in a kneel­ing po­si­tion so they could pray to­gether and then he beat the body with a bro­ken belt.

Ter­rance Bar­al­lon yes­ter­day told a Cairns Supreme Court trial he killed “flam­boy­ant” dis­abled pen­sioner Robert Duffy in his Mooroo­bool home in Fe­bru­ary last year.

He has pleaded guilty to man­slaugh­ter but not guilty to mur­der.

Bar­al­lon told the court he fa­tally struck Mr Duffy after he was sex­u­ally as­saulted on Fri­day, Fe­bru­ary 17 after help­ing the 62-year-old to his bed­room.

“He pro­ceeded to grab my arse, he grabbed a hand­ful,” he said. “I jumped, I felt vi­o­lated.” Bar­al­lon said he punched Mr Duffy, who fell onto a ta­ble.

“It made me flip,” Bar­al­lon said. “I can’t say how many punches, I might have kicked him once.

“I thought, Je­sus, he’s try­ing to rape me.”

Bar­al­lon said he wrapped a belt around the now de­ceased Mr Duffy the next day to lift him into the en­suite but the belt broke.

He “tied his legs to­gether into a kneel­ing po­si­tion, and taped his hands into a pray­ing po­si­tion”.

“He died at my hands and I wanted to give him his last rites,” Bar­al­lon said.

“I prayed with him for a cou­ple of hours.”

He told the court he then “lost the plot”.

“I started slap­ping him with the belt, it was just gib­ber­ish, swear­ing at him,” he said.

Bar­al­lon told the court he had been raped as a fiveyear-old and in the months liv­ing with Mr Duffy he had been sub­ject to re­peated sex­ual ha­rass­ment and mood swings by the man he cared for.

He said he stayed in the house with Mr Duffy’s body for three days.

“There was a bad smell com­ing from Robert’s room – I grabbed a doona and pushed it against the door and sprayed it with his cologne,” he said.

“I started think­ing if I went away for a few days it would go away – I had done the worst thing you can do; you go to hell for that.”

He was ar­rested in Port Dou­glas on Fe­bru­ary 23.

The jury is ex­pected to re­tire to con­sider a ver­dict on Mon­day.

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