A clear case of murder had been revealed in the trial of a man who pushed a pub patron through the second-storey window of Cottesloe’s Ocean Beach Hotel, a State prosecutor told a Supreme Court jury today.
Closing the prosecution case, lawyer Amanda Forrester said there was no possible explanation for Stefan Pahia Schmidt’s unjustified attack on Andrew Marshall on May 8 last year other than a fit of rage.
Ms Forrester likened the incident to picking up a gun, pointing it at somebody and firing, without checking whether it was loaded or in working order, then realising the safety catch is not on.
But defence lawyer Tom Percy told the jury that some deaths were accidental and this was not a case of murder.
Mr Percy said Mr Marshall was dead because there was no safety glass in the windows at the OBH.
“Mr Marshall, by any token, was desperately unlucky and so by the same token, is we say, this accused,” Mr Percy said in his closing address.
Mr Schmidt is accused of murdering Mr Marshall by deliberately pushing him before he fell through the window and died of his injuries the following day.
It is not alleged that the murder was pre-meditated, but Mr Schmidt is accused of having an intention to cause bodily harm of such a nature as to endanger or be likely to endanger his life.
Mr Schmidt claims he only intended to push Mr Schmidt out of the way and did not intend any harm.
Today, Ms Forrester said there was “utterly overwhelming” evidence that Mr Schmidt pushed Mr Marshall with both of his hands.
“He did not just push him towards the window, he pushed him at it, into it and through it,” Ms Forrester said.
“He was like a coil, ready to spring and he sprung at Mr Marshall.”
But Mr Percy said there was no motive or cause for Mr Schmidt to intend Mr Marshall any harm, describing the incident as a “skirmish” at a pub.
He said Mr Schmidt was upset before the incident, but not in a fit of rage.
“Obviously it has not been the end of the night that he wanted, but in terms of having a murderous frame of mind toward any hapless individual who crosses his path, that I suggest to you is untenable,” Mr Percy said.
Mr Percy will continue his closing this afternoon.