Witness recalls fatal stabbing to trial jury

WALKING out of 8 Hill St behind his two mates, David Barker saw two men, with whom they had earlier had a heated exchange, talking to a female friend.

Soon Mr Barker's mates, Brandon Matthews, 18, and Brad Girling, 22, were embroiled in a fist fight.

Mr Barker joined in, throwing punches at the "smaller" of the men, Luke Michael Jackson.

It was this brawl on a suburban North Ipswich street that led to the deaths of two young men - Mr Matthews, originally of Gladstone, and Mr Girling, of Ipswich - in January 2012.

Luke Michael Jackson and Zachary Michael Moloney have pleaded not guilty to the stabbing murders.

Mr Barker told the Supreme Court, where Jackson and Moloney are on trial, he was wrestling with Mr Jackson when he saw Mr Matthews step out of the altercation and walk back up the road.

"He said he had been stabbed," Mr Barker told the court yesterday. Mr Matthews then spotted Mr Girling lying on a nature strip.

"I just thought he had been knocked out, but his eyes didn't look right," he said.

"He started coughing up blood.

"I told him to get up because I thought he had been knocked out, but then I realised he had been stabbed."

Mr Barker said he then ran up the road to see Mr Matthews.

"He was going very pale," he recalled. "I lifted Brandon's shirt up and saw he had a stab wound to the side of his chest and there was a large pool of blood around his body.

"Then I knew it was a serious injury."

Mr Barker, who was also stabbed, said he did not spot any knives during the fight.

During cross-examination, the defence focused on the words exchanged leading up to the altercation.

Jackson's barrister, James Godbolt, put it to Mr Barker that he said to Jackson prior to the fight: "Come on, have a go".

Matthews' barrister, Dennis Lynch, said Mr Barker had been on the phone to one of the victims and had threatened that if they came around they would be punched.

Mr Barker said he couldn't remember but conceded it was a "possibility".

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