Final defence witness to appear in Grafton murder trial

A MURDER trial being heard in the Grafton Courthouse will enter its final days today, with the summoning of the final witness.

The Supreme Court trial of Donald Neil Gordon, who is accused of the murder of his friend Danial Cotter, has already been sitting for more than two weeks, with numerous witnesses giving evidence during the proceedings.

Gordon has pleaded not guilty to murdering the victim near the entrance to Collum Collum Station, but there is no dispute his actions caused Cotter's death sometime between November 6 and 7, 2013.

The trial is instead centred on whether Gordon's actions on the night of November 6, 2013, amount to murder or manslaughter.

During the first week, the jury heard Gordon tell police during a video interview that he hit Cotter with his car the night before, but did not know how it happened. He said he was drunk at the time and did not remember much.

Later, Anthony Gordon and Andrew Donnelly, who were drinking with Gordon and Cotter at Collum Collum station on the night of the fatal incident, both gave accounts of the night.

Each of them said Cotter and Gordon left the homestead together, before Gordon came back to the house saying Cotter was hurt.

From the witness stand on Tuesday, Anthony Gordon said he walked with Donald Gordon to find Cotter lying on the road with a bloodied face. "He was still breathing, but very badly hurt," Anthony Gordon said.

By Thursday, the focus of the trial had turned to analysis of a blood-stained rock, which was found resting against Cotter's body when it was discovered in a ditch on November 7, 2013.

It is alleged by the Crown that it was the force of this rock striking the victim's head, and not the impact of Gordon's vehicle, that caused his death.

On Friday, defence witness and forensic biologist Jae Gerhard said there was evidence of one forceful impact between Cotter's head and the rock, but it could not be established from the blood pattern how that happened.

The final defence witness, forensic pathologist Jo DuFlou, will be heard today.



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