Court hears victim's chilling last words

A JURY in the murder trial of an Armidale man has been played a chilling recorded interview with the victim, who named his alleged attacker before he passed away.

Cecil Paul Briggs is standing trial in Armidale Supreme Court accused of the murder of 47-year-old Douglas Bindley in 2012.

The Crown prosecutor will allege Briggs used a small black baseball bat as well as a wooden chair leg to violently attack Mr Bindley on Christmas Eve in a Brown St unit in Armidale.

Mr Bindley was hospitalised following the alleged assault and later died in hospital after his condition deteriorated on Boxing Day.

The trial started yesterday after a 12-member jury was empanelled before opening submissions from both sides.

Officer-in-charge of the case, Detective Sergeant Matthew Crotty, was the first witness called in the trial, which is expected to last more than two weeks.

The court was played a silent video of the detective walking through the unit after the alleged attack.

The crown said there was a “red spatter” across many of the walls, an upturned table, the roof, a refrigerator and other objects in the room.

“There seems to be a large pool of red substance at the base of it,” the crown asked, referring to a maroon armchair in the unit.

“Yes,” Detective Crotty replied.

When quizzed, Detective Crotty said the red spatter “was consistent” across all the areas pointed out by the crown in the video played in court.

The jury was also played an audio recording of a bedside interview with the victim at Armidale hospital, on the night of the alleged attack.

“He grabbed the chair and smashed it ... and then he started laying into me,” Mr Bindley was heard to say on the recording.

When asked who he was assaulted by, he named the accused – a man who he said he had known for years.

“It came out of the blue,” Mr Bindley was heard to tell the detective, adding he had not seen the accused for “weeks or for months”. Detective Crotty told the court the victim remained in a stable condition in hospital on Christmas Day before his condition took a turn for the worse and he died just before 6pm on December 26, 2012.

Briggs was arrested that night at his Armidale home. Police allege he answered the door and told the officers, “Is it bad? I’m here with the kids.”

Briggs had his assault charges upgraded to murder and has been in custody since.

The trial continues before Justice Richard Button.


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