Group face murder trial over CBD stabbing

As Ricky Rowlands lay bleeding to death in a gutter on a Melbourne street, his ex-girlfriend stood over him and hurled abuse, a court has heard.

"You f****ing dog," Candice Harper allegedly said to her former partner, who had been stabbed three times. Mr Rowlands, 46, died in hospital the next day.

Mobile phone and CCTV camera footage captured much of the October 10, 2020, attack and its aftermath, Victoria's Supreme Court was told on Tuesday.

Five people charged over their involvement, including Harper, are facing a trial by jury in Melbourne.

There were two fights that evening, near the Ibis Hotel on King Street, which at the time was being used to house Melbourne's homeless during COVID-19 lockdowns, the jury heard.

The victim, Mr Rowlands, was not staying at the hotel but Harper was staying there with her new boyfriend Jamie Holt. Holt knew another hotel resident, Benjamin McCartin.

Mr Rowlands arrived outside the hotel just before 8pm on the night in question and a fight broke out between him and McCartin in front of several other residents.

It's unclear what the fight was about. McCartin punched Mr Rowlands and they wrestled under a car, before the fight was broken up.

Prosecution barrister David Glynn said the group went back inside the hotel, while Mr Rowlands waited outside.

"It may be that coming off second best in the fight, or the fact that he was involved in a fight with Mr Rowlands, provided Mr McCartin with his motivation for getting involved in the second and much more serious fight," he told the jury.

The group walked back outside about 9.30pm, where a knife was allegedly handed to Holt.

McCartin, Holt and Harper then started another fight with Mr Rowlands, which spilt into the middle of traffic on King Street.

They moved back off the road and the fight escalated, with McCartin now in possession of the knife.

Holt hit Mr Rowlands in the head with a glass bottle before McCartin, Holt and Harper pulled him to the ground and held him there. McCartin stabbed Mr Rowlands three times in the stomach, telling him: "How does it feel to get stabbed you dog."

Mr Rowlands got up and tried to punch Harper, before collapsing. Holt and McCartin fled, leaving Harper standing over Mr Rowlands as he lay on the ground.

"Harper leans over Mr Rowlands, as he lies there collapsed literally in the gutter," Mr Glynn told the jury.

She hurled abuse at him and left. McCartin gave the murder weapon to another accused, Dale Miller, who left it on a window ledge.

McCartin, Holt and Harper are charged with murder. Miller and his girlfriend Jacinda Brown are charged with manslaughter, for supplying the murder weapon. All have pleaded not guilty.

The trial continues before Justice Stephen Kaye.