Chris Ison

Jury expected to retire today in 'murder by heroin’ trial

A ROCKHAMPTON jury was yesterday congratulated by defence barrister Craig Chowdury for "making history".

"You are being asked to convict my client based on a text message," he said during his closing statement.

Mr Chowdury represents Kerryn Ann Young, who is on trial for murder in the Supreme Court in Rockhampton with her co-accused Bradley David Hill.

The pair were charged after Gladstone man and methamphetamine addict Luke McAuliffe died from a heroin overdose at his parent's home on October 10, 2010.

It is alleged Hill and Young arranged the delivery of the lethal dose to Mr McAuliffe, who took it thinking it was meth.

In his closing argument, Crown prosecutor Michael Cowan asked the jury to put aside their judgments of Mr McAuliffe's lifestyle and remember he was "still a son".

"No matter what he might have done, it does not carry the death penalty," he said.

Mr Cowan said at the centre of the case was Hill's jealousy of the relationship between Mr McAuliffe and Young.

"The fragility of the male ego is really at the heart of this," he said.

He argued Hill had the intention, the motive and the means to kill Mr McAuliffe and Young had willingly assisted. "She could have stopped it at any time, but she didn't," he said.

However Mr Chowdury said the Crown's case against Young was weak, mainly relying on a text message Young sent to Mr McAuliffe telling him the drugs were in his letterbox.

"He chose to inject himself," Mr Chowdury said.

"Luke McAuliffe was the master of his fate that night."

Mr Chowdury said there was also no evidence Young had actual knowledge of Hill's alleged intention to kill or harm Mr McAuliffe.

Hill's defence barrister Greg McGuire reminded the jury there were lots of people "after" Mr McAuliffe.

He told the jury they were being asked to believe Hill's fury at Mr McAuliffe had continued, irrespective of the fact he had reconciled with Young, who he had also threatened to kill.

He also pointed out the prosecution had dismissed the evidence of a taxi driver, who said she drove some people to Mr McAuliffe's house the night of his death and they dropped something off. "He (Mr Cowan) had to be dismissive because her evidence shows the possibility of two deliveries and that destroys their case," Mr McGuire said.

"What we have had is the slightest glimpse, not into the lives of the rich and famous, but into the lives of IV drug users."

The jury is expected to retire today to consider a verdict.

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