News

New insights into slashing trial

Gympie District Court house.
Gympie District Court house. Renee Albrecht

THE unlawful wounding trial of 29-year-old lifeguard Reece James Muir finished its second day with new insights into the evening which saw Rainbow Beach man Lindsay Sippel slashed with a folding knife.

Progress at the Gympie District Court has been slow for prosecution and defence teams, hampered by key witnesses unable to accurately recall the events of May 20, 2015.

Timothy Janek and Brock Purnell accompanied Mr Muir to the house on Cooloola Drive after a social function which left all three heavily intoxicated.

"We were blind basically, Tim and I,” Mr Purnell admitted.

"And what about Mr Muir?” asked Crown Prosecutor Joshua Hanna.

"Blind,” came the response.

What exactly brought the three men to Mr Sippel's house has largely been the focus of the trial so far.

Mr Janek and Mr Purnell said it was to enquire about a four-wheel-drive for sale in the front yard of the property.

But questions remain about David Anderson, who lived at Mr Sippel's house and had a contentious relationship with Mr Janek and his then-girlfriend.

Both men said they were unaware Mr Anderson was living at the house.

It's a claim disputed by police transcripts produced by defence counsel Simone Bain, which made reference to money owed by Mr Anderson to Mr Janek.

"So you're saying it was just a total coincidence that the house the three of you went to was the one he lived at?” Ms Bain asked Timothy Janek.

"It's a small town, a small community - we didn't know,” he responded.

A breakthrough late in the day revealed a neighbour in Cooloola Drive saw the three men arrive in the street on the back of a ute, contradicting claims they had walked to the house from a nearby pub.

Mr Muir himself has yet to be cross-examined, with Mr Hanna seeking to interview police responders for the attack.

Due to the show holiday, the trial has been adjourned until Monday morning, where it's expected Detective Senior Constable Reegan Cunningham will make an appearance.

Gympie Times

Topics:  gympie crime gympie district court trial unlawful wounding



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