Shandee Blackburn.
Shandee Blackburn.

Why slain Shandee must have known her attacker: prosecution

A PROSECUTOR has told a Supreme Court jury his circumstantial case is enough to convict John Peros of the murder of his former girlfriend Shandee Blackburn.

However, Mr Peros' defence barrister, Craig Eberhardt said in his closing address "it was a violent robbery committed by a methamphetamine addict who used force" because Ms Blackburn fought back.

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Mr Peros, 34, is on trial in the Supreme Court in Mackay, for the murder of the 23-year-old Harrup Park Country Club worker in the early hours of February 9, 2013. He has pleaded not guilty.

On Wednesday, in his closing address, Crown prosecutor Joshua Phillips revisited evidence presented since the trial began on March 20.

He told the court his case centres on two pieces of circumstantial evidence.

Mr Phillips said it included comments witnesses Nicole Hutchinson and Charlene Perry and Liam Aleman, testified Mr Peros made at an Australia Day 2013 gathering about wanting to kill Ms Blackburn.

He said it was two weeks after the comments were made that Ms Blackburn had been stabbed to death in Boddington Street, Mackay.

Additionally, Mr Phillips told the jury the white dual cab Toyota HiLux ute Mr Peros owned at the time had been spotted in nearby streets around the time of Ms Blackburn's death.

He told the court a distinctive rust pattern on the car, and other identifying marks seen on "quite grainy" CCTV, left little doubt it was Mr Peros' car.

Mr Phillips said the defence would suggest Ms Blackburn's death was the result of a "robbery gone wrong", a "fried meth-head mugger that's off his chops".

But Mr Phillips said the ferocity of the attack, in which Ms Blackburn was stabbed more than 20 times, and the fact she didn't call out for help, indicated she either knew her attacker or was disabled immediately.

"Muggers you might accept as a matter of your common experience, don't tend to disable people as an opening gambit," he said.

Mr Phillips told the court a person sighted running near the scene of Ms Blackburn's death had to be Mr Peros, but "it might be suggested (by the defence) it was another person".

He indicated the testimony of witness Jaspreet Pandher - who earlier in the trial testified to seeing a thin man run from the scene of the murder - was somewhat unreliable.

In reply, defence barrister Craig Eberhardt told the jury the prosecution was "cherry-picking" evidence.

Mr Eberhardt said Mr Peros was "left handed, had no criminal history" and had "no history of domestic violence with Shandee or anyone else".

The jury was told forensic examinations excluded Mr Peros from DNA found on Ms Blackburn's body and showed Ms Blackburn's killer was likely right-handed.

"There is no evidence that he was out and about on the evening ... no eyewitnesses, no video footage, no telephone records. No evidence he came back to his place in the early hours of the morning," Mr Eberhardt said.

"It was her (Ms Blackburn) that wanted to pursue the relationship, it was her that was behaving in a bit of a crazy way. There is no evidence of all of any violence in the relationship.

"There was no contact from John Peros with her after the end of May, 2012, about eight months before the murder."

Mr Eberhardt told the jury a former police person of interest, William Daniel, had lived about 400m from the scene of the stabbing death, had been known to carry knives, had a metham- phetamine habit, had been breaking into homes, was right handed and had confessed to his friend Levi Blackman about the crime.

Mr Daniel also couldn't be excluded from being linked to mixed DNA profiles found on Ms Blackburn's body, Mr Eberhardt said.

He also told the jury Ms Hutchinson, Ms Perry and Mr Aleman were not reliable witnesses and their statements and testimony had been inconsistent.

Ms Blackburn's family, including mother Vicki and sister Shannah Blackburn, watched intently from the public gallery

The trial continues.



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