News

Accused not capable of sex, court told

THE man accused of murdering a South Grafton woman, then burning her to conceal evidence claims he was not capable of having sex with her.

The Supreme Court trial of Andrew Sumpton, 49, continued in Grafton  with Detective Senior Constable Matthew Sippel in the witness box throughout the day.

Sumpton is accused of the May 18, 2012 murder of Michelle Roberts. The badly burned body of Ms Roberts, 47, was found in a burning house at 10 Margaret St, South Grafton.

A post mortem found she had been bashed and stabbed 24 times, including wounds to her genital area. Her underpants had been pulled down.

The evidence included a video of Det Sippel and Detective Sergeant Grahame Burke interviewing Sumpton at Grafton Police Station on May 24, 2012.

Sumpton and another man had been drinking throughout the afternoon and evening of May 17 with Ms Roberts.

Late in the night after drinking at several locations, Sumpton obtained a bottle of home brew whisky and cola from Stephen Johnson, which he planned to drink with Ms Roberts.

Det Sippel said there were comments from Mr Johnson that "he might get his end in".

Sumpton said this was not possible because of his sexual dysfunction.

He went on to describe how he had tried Viagra without success and spent money on other therapies at the behest of a former partner.

The detective also questioned Sumpton about the clothes he was wearing on the night of the murder.

Sumpton claims he was wearing a dark hoodie and jeans throughout the night, but a witness told police he was wearing distinctive football shorts and a shirt before the fire.

Police said CCTV footage taken earlier in the day showed Sumpton wearing those clothes.

In cross examination Sumpton's barrister, Mr Dennis, asked Det Sippel if the accused had told him he and Ms Roberts had been using a knife to cut threads on her bedspread.

"No, not at all," Det Sippel said.

Mr Dennis also asked if police had checked out Sumpton's claim in the interview he had been in contact with a sexual dysfunction clinic called AMI.

Det Sippel said the clinic had a record of contact with Sumpton.

The trial continues next week.

Topics:  grafton, murder, supreme court




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