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Court comic had gallery in stitches

A DAY of tedium and waiting was enlivened by bouts of laughter in the Hervey Bay District Court yesterday.

One prosecution witness had the entire court chuckling at his answers, while another could not stop himself laughing at a question from a defence barrister.

Steven Rangeley got his first laugh of the afternoon when he mentioned how long he had to wait to give evidence, with several jurors nodding in sympathy.

A later exchange with defence counsel David Murray even drew an admiring “you've got me” from the experienced barrister.

When it was put to him that he would not remember the name “Joe Blow”, Mr Rangeley quickly interjected with “well, I would certainly remember a Joe Blow”.

Earlier in the day, Paul Devlin laughed at Mr Murray when asked if he had made up the story of an armed home invasion.

The prosecution witness was asked by Mr Murray if the alleged home invasion, said to have occurred on April 25, 2009, was a “concoction” from Devlin and his partner to avoid liability for damage to their Craignish home.

Mr Devlin, apparently unable to contain his disbelief at the question, laughed out loud before replying: “No, no it was not.”

Another defence barrister, Kylie Hillard, also asked Mr Devlin the same question to which Devlin bluntly told her “that's crap”.

Between these humorous interludes, witnesses and the jury spent most of the day waiting for the Crown and defence to finish debating various points of law.

Rodney Thomas Hills and Daryl David Hall are on trial for allegedly forcing their way into the home of Devlin's partner, Sharon Lalor, while armed with knives and demanding money from Ms Lalor.

Another Crown witness, Detective Sergeant Bruce Hodgins, said “no knives of interest” had been found at the addresses of the co-accused after search warrants were issued in May 2009.

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