A Frenchman on trial for murder stabbed another man three times after his alleged victim assaulted two of his friends in a drunken Christmas Day encounter between strangers in Broome, a Supreme Court jury was told today.
Thomas Camus has pleaded not guilty to murdering Kristopher Dixon, 32, in the early hours of Christmas Day 2011 outside a Broome nightclub.
Footage of the brawl filmed by a passer-by on his mobile phone, described to jurors by presiding judge, Chief Justice Wayne Martin, and prosecutor Amanda Burrows as “graphic” and “disturbing”, was shown today.
Screams and expletives can be heard and the footage ends with a stabbed Mr Dixon being assaulted and kicked in the middle of the road while on the ground by four men, one of whom he had been involved with in an altercation inside the Bungalow Bar.
Mr Dixon was thrown out of the bar after the altercation.
In her opening address to the jury, Ms Burrows said Mr Camus, who was working in the laundry of a local hotel and living with two other French nationals in Broome, had dinner and drinks at home with his two flatmates when the three Frenchmen decided to go into town.
Ms Burrows said the men, who were wearing Christmas hats, were twice refused entry into the Bungalow Bar.
Mr Dixon, his girlfriend and her cousin crossed paths with the three French nationals on Broome’s main strip of Dampier Terrace, with Mr Dixon hitting one of the Frenchmen before walking away.
The prosecutor said one of the accused man’s friends allegedly grabbed one of the women by the throat, which Mr Dixon saw and prompted him to run back and assault the accused’s two friends, knocking one of them out.
Ms Burrows alleged Mr Camus witnessed the attack on his friends and followed Mr Dixon and stabbed him three times, including one fatal wound which penetrated his heart and lung, up against a gate in a nearby laneway.
She said a bare-chested Mr Dixon was heard yelling “I’m bleeding, I’m bleeding” while running from the scene and before he was assaulted by the four other men.
By the end of the night, Mr Camus and one of his friends ended up without their pants, which were later found by police.
The alleged murder weapon was a folding knife that one of Mr Camus gave to the other flatmate as a Christmas present earlier that night. The knife has never been found, the prosecutor said.
The jury was shown footage from various CCTV cameras, but the actual stabbing was not captured on camera. No witnesses saw the stabbing either, making it a circumstantial case, the prosecutor told jurors.
Ms Burrows said Mr Camus, who was arrested on December 27, 2011, said he had limited memory of the night. When asked if he stabbed Mr Dixon, the accused men told police: “No, I don’t remember, I don’t think so.”
She claimed to the jury that Mr Camus was not telling police the whole truth during his two interviews.
She said Mr Camus’ two friends also had little or no memory of the events in question.
Ms Burrows said Mr Camus was captured on camera running from the scene just before 2am, which she claimed indicated a “consciousness of guilt”.
She said Mr Dixon’s blood was found on Mr Camus’ shoes, jeans and shirt.
After he was rushed to Broome hospital, Mr Dixon was pronounced dead. A sample of his blood taken recorded an alcohol reading of 0.101 per cent.
The prosecutor told the jury that the three Frenchmen slept most of Christmas Day and returned to the area of the Bungalow Bar in the afternoon, searching for the missing knife which they could not find in their apartment.
Ms Burrows said Mr Camus’ blood-stained and washed shirt was found inside a plastic bag in the rubbish. She argued witnessing the attack on his friends may have been the reason behind the fatal stabbing.
Mr Camus’ lawyer Helen Prince chose not to make an opening address to the jury.
The court has appointed two French interpreters to translate the proceedings for the accused and his family, who only have a limited grasp of English.
The trial, set to run for three weeks, continues.