An Irishman's drunk driving shortly before he allegedly murdered a homeless man was so concerning in the eyes of a witness, the bystander thought the driver would get "himself or someone else killed", a Sydney trial has been told.
Nathan Kelly, 23, and his friend Christopher McLaughlin, 25, have pleaded not guilty to murdering 66-year-old Paul Tavelardis, who was left on the brink of death after an attack in Summer Hill about 12.30am on December 29, 2018.
Barristers for both men say neither formed intent to kill or inflict really serious harm and have alleged Mr Tavelardis made the first move.
Bartender Brian Cunha told the NSW Supreme Court on Wednesday he recognised Kelly as the driver of a car that had been loudly driven past the Summer Hill Hotel about midnight.
Mr Cunha, who'd earlier helped eject the then 21-year-old Kelly from the pub for intoxication, said he later saw the same car pick up a passenger in the pub car park and then skid as it returned to the road.
For "quite some time", the bartender heard the sound of rubber tyres screeching on the pavement as the car lapped Summer Hill train station three or four times.
He said he didn't see the car hit any objects but became concerned about the aggressive style of driving, especially the risk of a head-on collision when it veered left into an underpass.
"It was driving in a manner that I recall saying to the patron (next to me) 'This bloke is going to get himself or someone else killed' ... just based on the aggression," Mr Cunha said.
He agreed Kelly wasn't aggressive inside the bar and caused no fuss when asked to leave.
The Crown alleges Kelly parked the car outside his unit on Grosvenor Crescent about 12.30am - metres from the station wagon Mr Tavelardis called home.
Shortly thereafter, the two Irishmen were allegedly seen holding the 66-year-old down on the ground and landing blows on his head and arm.
Mr Tavelardis was alert on arrival at hospital but didn't regain consciousness after surgery to treat bleeding on the brain.
Kelly and McLaughlin's lawyers have suggested the 66-year-old had tried to break into McLaughlin's ute and then struck out at Kelly with a metal pipe after the Irishmen arrived.