John Collins, 39, was present in Rotorua greater than two weeks after killing Brent Bacon. Picture / Gregor Richardson
A Dunedin man was crushed to dying with a cricket bat earlier than his physique was dumped on a rural street, a court docket has heard.
John Kenneth Collins, 39, admitted killing his good friend, 45-year-old Brent Andrew Bacon, however stated he did so in self-defence.
He pleaded not responsible to homicide on the outset of his trial earlier than the Excessive Courtroom at Dunedin yesterday however admitted counts of interfering with a physique and unlawfully taking the sufferer’s automobile.
Bacon’s physique — bundled right into a sleeping bag — was present in a complicated state of decomposition below a low-hanging tree beside a street in Seacliff on February 18, 2019. He had died two weeks earlier.
After leaving him there, Collins and his companion, Aleisha Dawson, 32, fled to Blenheim, the place they bought Bacon’s Toyota individuals mover for $250.
They took a ferry to Wellington after which traveled by bus to Rotorua, the place police finally discovered them.
Collins instructed officers that Bacon had been appearing “paranoid” that night time whereas on the couple’s flat at 47 Lock St, in St Clair.
He stated the sufferer got here at him, fist raised and looking out offended.
Collins described utilizing a cricket bat overarm “like swinging an axe” however stated he didn’t intend to hit Bacon.
Nonetheless, when the person was on the bottom on his abdomen, the defendant instructed police, he hit him once more behind the top.
There may need been a 3rd blow however he stated he “blacked out”.
Crown prosecutor Pip Norman stated forensic workers discovered blood on the partitions, flooring, ceiling and furnishings.
Bacon suffered fractures to his cranium and face, in addition to damaged bones in his arms, which she stated had been per defensive accidents.
“The Crown says the character of the accidents, their location and the power and variety of blows all point out an assault that amounted to homicide relatively than self-defence,” Norman stated.
The court docket heard Bacon had moved to Dunedin in 2018 after telling his sister, Lia Bezett, he felt misplaced and lonely.
She instructed the jury how her brother’s life had been blighted by drug use, which had prompted a collection of mental-health crises by way of the years.
Bezett and her husband, Sam, agreed to accommodate Bacon whereas he labored for his or her constructing firm.
Nonetheless, quickly after, Collins and Dawson, buddies the sufferer had identified in Christchurch, moved down, too.
Bacon spoke fondly of the couple, Bezett stated, and admired their efforts to get their lives on monitor.
She and her husband hosted the pair for a roast and stated they had been open about “how munted medicine made them”.
They gave Collins work, portray an workplace and their bed room, in a bid to provide him a leg-up however Bezett sensed they had been “unraveling” when the person tried to get fee for the job earlier than finishing it.
She instructed the jury there appeared to be desperation in regards to the defendant, and Bacon, who had been utilizing methamphetamine that 12 months, had described them as changing into more and more unstable.
The household’s considerations grew the longer the sufferer was lacking.
Early on February 18, after attending a marriage, Bezett made the brief stroll from his St Clair residence to Lock St and kicked within the door.
“I keep in mind instantly seeing a pool of blood … and Brent’s jandal,” he instructed the court docket.
“I keep in mind considering that is an excessive amount of blood to outlive.”
Counsel Len Andersen stated his consumer may need killed Bacon however burdened he didn’t have murderous intent.
The trial, earlier than Justice Jan-Marie Doogue and a jury of six males and 6 ladies, is anticipated to conclude subsequent week.