Jury expected to retire to consider verdict in Steven John Johnson's trial in NSW Supreme Court for 2015 murder of Kenny Matthews in Tamworth

Street fight scene: Specialist forensic police examine the Bilkurra St unit in Tamworth in May, 2015 following Mr Matthews' death. Photo: Barry Smith

Street fight scene: Specialist forensic police examine the Bilkurra St unit in Tamworth in May, 2015 following Mr Matthews' death. Photo: Barry Smith

THE jury in the murder trial of a Tamworth man accused of the bashing death of an associate is expected to retire to consider their verdict on Wednesday.

In the NSW Supreme Court in Tamworth, Justice Richard Button told the jury of five women and seven men that he expected to finish his directions and summing up of the five-week trial of Steven John Johnson - who is accused of murdering Kenny Matthews in Tamworth in 2015 – on Wednesday.

He started his directions on Tuesday afternoon and said the Crown had to prove one of two intentions for the charge of murder, either “an intention to kill” or “an intention to cause really serious physical injury".

He said the latter was “what the crown is alleging in this case”.

The jury has already heard Johnson had only met Mr Matthews twice, didn’t know he had a history of medical illnesses but knew he supported the Roosters in football, the defence submitted.

Justice Button said the Crown did not have to prove a motive for the accused to murder Mr Matthews, but they had to prove “the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt”.

Street fight scene: Specialist forensic police examine the Bilkurra St unit in Tamworth in May, 2015 following Mr Matthews' death. Photo: Barry Smith

Street fight scene: Specialist forensic police examine the Bilkurra St unit in Tamworth in May, 2015 following Mr Matthews' death. Photo: Barry Smith

Defence barrister Chris Taylor finished his lengthy closing address on Tuesday afternoon, telling the jury the evidence “raises just a number of maybes”.

He said when the panel of 12 considered all the evidence, there was no proof of a specific punch or kick by the accused that caused the injuries to Mr Matthew’s spleen, which led to the internal bleeding, and ultimately his death.

“There is not any reliable evidence of a specific punch or kick by this accused in the area of the spleen,” he said.

He said the injury could have occurred “maybe in one of those falls”, or during a roll on the road.

“The experts, they can’t offer an opinion as the when the splenic injury was caused, they just can’t,” Mr Taylor said.

The experts, they can’t offer an opinion as the when the splenic injury was caused. - Defence barrister Chris Taylor

Mr Taylor said Johnson had made “significant admissions”, telling the jury when he was on the stand “that he punched the deceased … he tells you that he kicked and stomped on the deceased.”

On Monday, Crown prosecutor Lee Carr told the jury the medical evidence showed that “blunt force trauma” caused the bleeding into the spleen cavity.

“The only trauma that's available ... is that which is visited upon the deceased by the accused,” he said.

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