Scott Guy trial: Live updates day 5

Last updated 15:10 11/06/2012
Ewen Macdonald
PHIL REID/Fairfax NZ
THE DEFENDANT: Ewen Macdonald is accused of Scott Guy's murder.
Scott Guy
SCOTT GUY: Killed outside his farmhouse.

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Scott Guy's brother-in-law Ewen Macdonald, 32, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Guy by shooting him twice in the early morning of July 8, 2010.

Crown prosecutors Ben Vanderkolk and Paul Murray are prosecuting. Criminal lawyer Greg King is representing Macdonald. Manawatu barrister Peter Coles is also part of the defence.

The trial began at the High Court in Wellington on Tuesday June 5 and is expected to go for at least a month.

The second week of the trial began today with the focus now on the relationship between Guy and Macdonald.

LIVE UPDATES FROM COURT

The trial has adjourned for the day.

5.10pm 'Scott's pissed a lot of people off,' assistant farm manager said.

The day before Scott Guy was shot, assistant farm manager Simon Asplin had a job interview he had told no one about.

Under cross examination he told defence lawyer Greg King he knew he did not want to be on the farm long term and looking at other options.

He agreed he was at a major career crossroads.

The job was as a sales representative job with farm equipment.

Mr Asplin said milking was not his favourite pastime and tractors were his passion.

He was made manager after Macdonald was arrested.

He also got a small payrise.

He admitted making a comment before Scott Guy's funeral that the one good thing that had come out if it [Mr Guy's death] was that he was back on the tractor where he belonged.

A new manager has since taken over.

He agreed with Mr King that he was valuable there, that the farm had needed his experience.

Mr Asplin said he was offered the sales rep job but felt loyal to Bryan Guy and wanted to stick around and help them through a rough patch.

In a phone call to his partner on the day of the murder, Mr Asplin told her that Scott Guy was shot.  He maintained he heard that from Matthew Ireland.

However during his evidence Mr Ireland said he did not find out Scott Guy was shot until days after his death.

Mr Asplin said he snapped at Matthew Ireland for asking who could have done that.

He said he had been persisting with the question and he snapped, being upset himself.

Mr King said it was a weird reaction and Mr Asplin disagreed.

"You saw Matthew Ireland as a threat to you on the farm?" Mr King asked.

"Not at all,'' Mr Asplin said.

When asked by another man about who would have killed Scott, Mr Asplin told him "Well, Scott's pissed a lot of people off."

He said he was sick of being asked about it.

4.21pm: Assistant farm manager 'felt like the man in the middle'

Assistant farm manager Simon Asplin has returned to the witness box to talk about the relationship between Scott Guy and the man accused of his murder.

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He said he thought they got on well but Scott Guy would sometimes do something to annoy Macdonald.

Mr Asplin said Macdonald would plan his days but Guy would turn up and say something had to be done, like moving stock.

"We would have to down tools to help Scott.''

He said they wondered what Scott did some days but when he did work he worked hard.

"I tried not to [get involved] but sometimes I did, I felt like the man in the middle.''

Mr Asplin said he spoke to Scott about driving the tractor more and Scott said with his wife, Kylee, pregnant with their second child Asplin should do more of the tractor work.

He told crown prosecutor Paul Murray that the police had photographed his footwear.  He said he had never owned a pair of Proline dive boots.  He wore a size 12.

The Crown has told the jury that distinctive ripple soled dive boot impressions were found at the scene of the shooting and that Macdonald had owned a pair.

3.47pm Farm worker adamant Macdonald said Guy was shot

A part-time worker has remained adamant that Ewen Macdonald told him Scott Guy had been shot despite not initially telling police.

Defence lawyer Greg King asked B J Worthington if he was sure it had been said.

Mr Worthington said he was positive.

He said it did not seem relevant at the time to discuss it until after Macdonald had been arrested in 2011.

He agreed he had not mentioned it during his first police statement shortly after Scott Guy's death.

3.34pm Rivalry between Guy and Macdonald noticed by workers

Rivalry between Ewen Macdonald and Scott Guy was noticed by workers but a former worker said he did not think it was anything major.

Jackson Gilbert worked at the Guy family farm part time while he was at school then full-time for six months.

He heard Macdonald making a cheeky comment about Scott but could not remember Scott making similar comments.

He told defence lawyer Greg King that Macdonald had been the best boss he had ever had and it had been a happy working environment.

Part time worker B J Worthington said he never sensed anything wrong between the pair.

He described Ewen as very hands-on.  The two men went about things differently and he was sometimes given tasks by both and told to do them in different ways.

On the day Scott Guy was killed he said he texted Macdonald to ask if everything was ok.

He said he got a text back "nah bro, Scott's dead."

When he later spoke to Macdonald he was told Scott had been shot but did not know why someone would do that.

Mr Worthington said he had a chat with a friend and they concluded that whoever shot Scott must have been a coward as a one-on-one would have ended differently.

When he repeated the conversation with Macdonald, he did not reply.

Macdonald did tell him Scott had just been lying there when they talked about the murder.

2.46pm: What did Macdonald mean when he said Scott Guy was brave?

A farm consultant thought a comment Ewen Macdonald made about Scott Guy being brave might have been about Guy facing his killer.

Consultant Simon Redmond read out a copy of his statement to the police made in 2011 that said Macdonald’s words were that Scott was braver than most when he died.

"I knew he had frontal wounds and that he was coming forward to the person," he said.

Mr Redmond said he assumed Macdonald knew because of his proximity to the family.

He admitted he could have been wrong about that and it could have been about Guy’s lifestyle, like bullriding.

He said Macdonald and Guy had been friends but the relationship had soured, probably when Guy took on more on the farm.

He had also spoken to Macdonald about becoming manager of another farm as a way to further his career but it did not come to anything.

Ewen Macdonald was “streets ahead’’ of Scott Guy in farming skill, a farm consultant said.

Redmond, who had a Guy family farm as a client for 10 years, told defence lawyer Greg King that Macdonald could have worked anywhere but he had doubts about Scott Guy.

Both men were earning about $100,000 a year and Mr Redmond said Macdonald could have easily earned that somewhere else while he did not think Scott could have.

1.13pm: Consultant: Macdonald described Guy as 'braver man than most'

Ewen Macdonald described his brother-in-law as a “braver man than most,’’ to a farm consultant who regularly visited the family farm.

Simon Redmond, a farm consultant who had the Guy farm as a client said he had a conversation with Ewen Macdonald about

Scott Guy being shot in the throat and chest.

He could not recall how the conversation about him being brave came up and was said in passing.

“I am not sure if it referred to his exploits in the bull ring.’’

Mr Redmond visited the farm every five weeks to drive around and make recommendations.

He said it was also Macdonald who told him that shotguns were not tracable, although the wadding might be.

Mr Redmond originally worked with Bryan Guy and later worked with Ewen who he said was the farm manager.

He described them as high achievers, driven superb farmers, with hardworking employees.  Milk solid output was significantly higher than other Manawatu farms.

There was speculation that the shooting was random, he told Justice Simon France.

12.50pm Farm assessor says Guy family farm well run

Dairy assessor Richard Cash said the Guy family farm was one of the best-run operations he had seen.

Mr Cash was contracted to Fonterra to check milk quality and helped run training in the Manawatu area.

He said he dealt with Bryan Guy and Ewen Macdonald usually, with Macdonald keeping the records.

Mr Cash said it was an excellent consistent operation.

He had not known Scott Guy existed until he turned up one day in about 2008.

He said he asked Macdonald if Scott was going to be taking over the farm.

“He said he thinks he is and then walked off.’’

Mr Cash described Macdonald as unhappy when he said it although not aggressive.

12.23pm Farmhand: Ewen Macdonald looked like he'd seen a ghost

Ewen Macdonald looked like he had seen a ghost when he arrived back at his home after being at the scene with Scott Guy’s body.

Matthew Ireland said he was “pale as,’’ when he came into the house.

Mr Ireland was at the Macdonald home when Scott’s mother said Scott was dead.

“I was in shock,’’

He then saw Macdonald come in about 10 minutes later.

Mr Ireland had been doing work experience on the Guy farm and had arrived first at the workshop to begin milking on July 8.

He saw Simon Asplin, another worker on the farm, in his car at the shed as they got ready for milking.

He was unable to tell defence lawyer Greg King when Asplin arrived.

He said he did not wear a watch and the clock in his car was set forward so he was not late.  He thought he had parked about 4.40am outside the workshop.

There were no lights on at the Macdonald house and he saw a light come on before Macdonald came out.

Mr Ireland said he did see Asplin had still been sitting in the car when Ewen Macdonald deactivated the alarm on the workshop.

However despite extensive questioning by Mr King in cross-examination he was unable to say how long he was sitting there before he saw Macdonald.

Mr Ireland said there was nothing unusual about milking that day except that Guy had not turned up.

When he went home for breakfast, Macdonald was still at the milking shed.  He never saw him take a phone call about Scott Guy.

He was at the Macdonald house when Scott’s mother told him Scott was dead.

Later in the morning Mr Ireland went out on the farm and spoke to Asplin again, “We were both in shock, asking if it was true (about Scott’s death).”

He denied he told Asplin that Scott had been shot.

Mr Ireland said he did not know Scott had been shot until a few days later.

“I was devastated, I just wanted to be exactly like him.’’

11.17am Farm hand said Macdonald looked like he had just woken up when he first saw him

A teenager doing work experience milking on the Guy farm joked with Ewen Macdonald about Scott Guy sleeping in when he did not show for work.

Matthew Ireland, now 19,  had been doing work experience on the Guy farm for two weeks.

He had been going to work with Scott the morning he was shot.

Mr Ireland said he had a laugh with Ewen about Scott sleeping in and that Ewen had told him before that Scott had slept in.

Mr Ireland arrived at the workshop about 4.30am to help with milking on July 8.

He said he was the first to arrive, although he did see a car with its headlights "heading Feilding way".

He could not see anything but the taillights.

A light came on at Ewen Macdonald’s house and he came out to unlock the shed.

"He looked like he had just woken up. He was wiping his eyes."

Mr Ireland said Scott was supposed to be there early to check the cows.  He has spoken to him the day before.  The morning of the shooting, Ewen was supposed to be starting later.

Mostly it was Ewen who did the early starts though, Mr Ireland said.

Mr Ireland said Ewen told him Scott did not answer his phone when he tried to call him.

Later in the morning he was at the Macdonald house when he heard Scott was dead.

Macdonald told him Scott had been killed.

10.38am Relationship between Guy and Macdonald was "hot and cold"

The relationship between Scott Guy and the man accused of killing him was “hot and cold’’, a friend said.

Andrew Short, who had worked on the farm milking and lived in the farm cottage with Scott during university holidays, said the two men had a partnership working the farm.

Scott Guy did the dry stock work while Ewen Macdonald ran the dairying side.

Mr Short said he did not hear Scott say anything nasty but he sometimes said Ewen was just Ewen.

He also said when he one day asked Ewen where Scott was, he was told “probably skiving off’’.

Mr Short said he heard similar remarks from both of them.

“It wasn’t unusual.’’

He said there seemed to be competition between the two.

“If one would get a tattoo the other would get a tattoo, if one got a new car the other got a new car.”

Mr Short said he was in business with his brother in a similar way to Guy and Macdonald and the competition did not exist the same way.

Harriet Purgel who kept her horse at the Guy’s farm said she visited every day and the gates to the Guy’s was always open.

The Crown has said the gates were closed the morning of the shooting, forcing Guy to leave his car to open them.

Day 4: Live coverage

Day 3: Live coverage

Day 2: Live coverage

Day 1: Live coverage

Summary of day four

They are the two women at the centre of a captivating "whodunit" murder trial.

And neither Kylee Guy nor Anna Macdonald could hold back the tears in the High Court at Wellington yesterday as they relived the moment they found out their husband and brother, Scott Guy, had been killed.

For Mrs Macdonald, the scenario was even more out-of-the-ordinary as she sat in the witness box while her husband Ewen Macdonald – the man accused of shooting Mr Guy – looked back at her from the dock.

Macdonald, 32, has kept his head down, scribbling on a piece of paper, during much of the evidence presented since his murder trial began on Tuesday.

But he gave a reserved glance at his wife when she took the stand for the first of six occasions over the next month or so.

Mrs Macdonald said her husband was much less composed when he ran into their rural Feilding home hours after the shotgun slaying on July 8, 2010.

"He looked really pale. He was shaking and had been crying," Mrs Macdonald said. "He said, `Are you OK? Are you OK?' and I was like, `What's going on?' Because no-one was really telling me anything at this stage ... I just thought someone must have got this wrong."

But Ewen was not the one who informed Anna of her brother's death. She had found out 10 minutes earlier when her sister Nikki burst into the house, she told the court.

"She just came in yelling, `Anna! Anna! ... it's Scott, it's Scott, he's dead, he's been shot'... that was all she would say ... she was pretty spaced out."

Kylee Guy told the court she was equally as devastated when she and her then 2-year-old son Hunter woke on the morning of the murder to the sound of motorbikes buzzing around their property in Aorangi Rd.

Hunter thought it was his father and wanted to run out and meet him like he did every morning, she said. "He said `Dad, bike'. He wanted his dad."

But that joy turned to confusion when Mrs Guy opened the curtains to find neighbour David Berry's stock truck and a police cordon at the end of her driveway.

"I saw the police cars and that's when I started to worry," she said. "I actually didn't even think that it would be Scott. My first thought was that [farmhand Matthew Ireland] had been hit by that truck or something."

A police officer stopped her going down the driveway toward her husband's body.

"I came into the [front door] entry and then I just collapsed, and then Hunter started getting upset because I was upset, so I just went down to our bedroom, cuddling him. I just sat there. I was in so much shock."

Mrs Guy said Mr Guy was in good spirits after returning from a business seminar in Invercargill with Macdonald a few weeks before the murder. "He felt that Ewen really opened up ... and it was really nice."

With the timing of events crucial, both Mrs Guy and Mrs Macdonald were questioned in detail about the morning routines of their husbands.

Neither could recall what time the men rose on the day in question, although Mrs Macdonald said Ewen had been getting up about 4.50am "for quite a while".

The jury also heard that Callum Boe – the man the Crown says was involved in the intimidation tactics Macdonald used to drive Scott and Kylee off the family farm – was in Queenstown at the time of the murder.

The trial continues on Monday.

- The Dominion Post

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