Aunt tells of screams in the bush
Aunt tells of screams in the bush

The aunt of a girl allegedly beaten to death by her boyfriend has described hearing her niece screaming minutes before discovering her body.

The Supreme Court jury in Kalgoorlie was also told yesterday that the-then 17-year-old boy accused of the girl's murder had to be flown to Perth for medical treatment after being subjected to tribal punishment by members of the Cosmo-Newberry community.

Details of the case emerged at the start of Jacob Lane's murder trial.

It is alleged Mr Lane bludgeoned the girl to death with a metal pole on December 9, 2012, after leading her into the bush near the Aboriginal community.

The court was told that an autopsy revealed the girl had suffered four broken ribs, a broken tibia and fibula in both legs, broken arms, bleeding around her brain, subdural haemorrhaging and two lacerations to her liver.

In the hours preceding the girl's death, family members reported seeing the couple walking into the bush, the court was told.

Later that morning, a number of community members travelled to a nearby wreckage yard to go fossicking, where they heard a male voice shouting phrases such as, "Come here, I'll hit you."

The aunt said that Mr Lane threatened to kill the victim.

"He was talking wild to the girl," the aunt said. "She was screaming, she was saying 'stop'."

The aunt said the voices continued for a few minutes before suddenly falling silent.

She told how she made her way through the bush, heading in the direction of the voices, and found her niece lying motionless on the ground. "I stopped and I cried there," she said.

Other witnesses said they also heard Mr Lane shouting at the victim, accusing her of having sex with others. The court was told that Mr Lane fled into the bush.

Community members went searching for him and on finding him, subjected him to tribal punishment.

The court was told that DNA likely to have come from the victim and Mr Lane had been found during a forensic examination of a metal bar.

The trial is set to continue for up to two weeks.

Morning news break – August 8

The West Australian

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