Trial begins of man accused of bashing murder of cellmate
THE trial of a man accused of the bashing murder of his cellmate in Grafton Correctional Centre almost a decade ago got underway in Grafton Supreme Court yesterday.
Shane Leslie Johnson has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Ian Klum, 53.
Mr Klum died on June 14, 2010 in Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane, four days after he was flown from Grafton Base Hospital following emergency surgery following a subdural haematoma brain injury.
During the opening address to the jury, the Crown Prosecution accused Mr Johnson of assaulting Mr Klum in the early hours of June 10, 2010.
In court the prosecution alleged the death of Mr Klum was the direct result of the "violent" actions of Mr Johnson, and that he intended to cause serious harm when he allegedly assaulted Mr Klum.
The prosecution submitted there was an assault on Mr Klum by Mr Johnson, and the injury that ultimately led to Mr Klum's death was inflicted while they shared cell 219 in Grafton Correctional Centre.
Addressing the jury, the prosecution alleged Mr Klum suffered injuries that caused bleeding from his nose and mouth, and his glasses were broken in the alleged assault.
In response, Mr Johnson's defence barrister Mr Watts said his client and Mr Klum were involved in an argument over Mr Klum's snoring in the early hours of June 10, and that Mr Johnson acted in self-defence after Mr Klum lashed out during the argument.
During the argument, Mr Watts said his client made admissions to police following the incident he pushed Mr Klum in the chest after Mr Klum tried to attacking him in their cell.
Mr Watts said Mr Klum suffered from a range of health difficulties, and was on a number of prescribed medications including the blood-thinner Warfarin, as well as antidepressantpressent medication and painkillers.
Mr Watts submitted that very little force could have caused Mr Klum to suffer a subdural haematoma brain injury, or that it could have happened spontaneously with a bleed on the brain.
"Not every application of force between two individuals is an assault, and self-defence to a threat is not an illegal action," Mr Watts said.
The trial continues before Justice Geoffrey Bellew today.