A late-night fisherman who drove past an older homeless man being viciously beaten in a Sydney street heard him cry out "why are you doing this to me?" a court has heard.
Andy Goh was travelling from his Ashfield home to go fishing near the Harbour Bridge with a friend when he saw two men "yelling dirty words" while kicking and punching a man who eventually fell down onto a concrete footpath.
"I heard the man saying 'why are you doing this to me'?" he told the Supreme Court on Friday through an interpreter
"I was surprised why two young men would hit an older man."
Nathan Kelly, 23, and his friend Christopher McLaughlin, 25, have pleaded not guilty to murdering 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 suggested the pensioner, who died in hospital nine days later, made the first move.
McLaughlin told a police officer after the assault that the older man had tried to break into his ute several times before striking out at Kelly with a metal pipe.
Mr Goh watched the scene unfold through an open window as his friend drove the car slowly along Elizabeth Street near Grosvenor Crescent.
"I saw one stronger, taller person punch... he used his fist with a powerful force," Mr Goh said.
He described the scene akin to "boxing" and said the stronger man who appeared heavily intoxicated used both his fists to punch Mr Tavelardis before he fell to the ground, protecting his head with his hands.
A "skinny man" then rushed towards him and kicked him, landing one strike clearly to his head.
When Mr Goh hopped out of his car and approached Mr Tavelardis who was by then surrounded by police, he saw his face covered in blood.
The Crown alleges both Irishmen, who lived on the street, had spent many hours drinking throughout the day before they were seen stumbling around Summer Hill train station on CCTV footage.
Kelly's defence lawyer David Campbell SC said the incident was obscured by darkness and happened quickly, questioning Mr Goh's account of what he witnessed.
But Mr Goh said he clearly watched two men chasing the older man onto the road before attacking him.
Senior Constable Renee Paulo who attended the crime scene identified a number of bloody clothes presented as evidence, including a navy blue button-up shirt belonging to McLaughlin and Kelly's jeans and left shoe.
The trial continues before Justice Geoffrey Bellew.