Macdonald murder trial

JIMMY ELLINGHAM
Last updated 13:15 22/06/2012

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1:05pm: The third week of Ewen Macdonald’s murder trial in the High Court at Wellington has finished.

Today the jury heard from police Detective Sergeant Graham Perks, who searched Macdonald’s property at 147 Aorangi Rd when he was arrested on April 7, 2011.

Mr Perks confirmed no firearms were seized from the property and no dive boots were found there.

“There was nothing significant found during the search.”

That included a search of a fire pit on the farm and a search of the water way next to the property.

Macdonald, 32, is accused of gunning down his brother-in-law Scott Guy at 4.43am on July 8, 2010, at the gates of Mr Guy’s Aorangi Rd property in rural Feilding.

The Crown says Macdonald killed Mr Guy while wearing a pair of size nine dive boots.

The defence says Macdonald is not the killer.

Detective Gregory Hogan worked on the investigation into Mr Guy’s death, known as Operation Yellow, and took a shot gun from the farm on August 22, 2010.

The Crown says this gun cannot be ruled out as the murder weapon.

Mr Hogan was back at the farm in April, 2011 when a specialist police search squad was brought up from Wellington.

He said two effluent ponds and a run off pond could not be searched.

Earlier Macdonald’s parents gave evidence for the first and only time during the trial.

Kerry Macdonald said his son was a better hunter than him.

The first witness called today was Macdonald’s wife Anna.

She said she could remember seeing an old dive boot when she and her husband were moving house in 2008.

She thought she had thrown it on to a trailer of rubbish but could not remember physically doing so.

Macdonald’s mother Marlene thought she had seen a dive boot at Ewen and Anna’s house after the move in 2008.

12:18pm: Kerry Macdonald has praised his son Ewen’s hunting ability.

“He picked it up pretty quickly and I would have rated him as a better hunter than me,” Mr Macdonald said.

“I put that down to probably a little bit more care, a bit more determination and a lot of years difference.”

He was giving evidence on day 14 of Ewen Kerry Macdonald’s murder trial in the High Court at Wellington today.

Macdonald, 32, is accused of gunning down his brother-in-law Scott Guy at 4.43am on July 8, 2010, at the gates of Mr Guy’s Aorangi Rd property in rural Feilding.

The defence says Macdonald is not the killer..

His father said Macdonald was organised and well prepared.

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Macdonald would wear dive boots around camp sites on hunting trips when the heavy boots he wore got wet, Mr Macdonald said.

Mr Macdonald is one of the owners of Palmerston North’s Hunting and Fishing outdoors shop and would sell gear to his son at cost price plus GST.

If his son wanted to borrow a gun, details would be kept in a log book.

Defence lawyer Greg King asked Mr Macdonald if his son could have, without his knowledge, borrowed a gun from his home on July 8, 2010.

“No, I have two gun safes at home. All the shot guns are in the gun safes,” Mr Macdonald said.

The gun safes are controlled by an electronic key pad and Mr Macdonald had not told his son the combination.

Mr King asked if Ewen Macdonald could have acquired a gun from Hunting and Fishing on that day.

Mr Macdonald said his son had not.

If another staff member had given him one, that would have been recorded and Mr Macdonald would have been notified.

11:20am: Ewen Macdonald’s mother remembers seeing a  dive boot at 147 Aorangi Rd in 2008.

Earlier today Ewen’s wife Anna said she thought she had thrown a boot out when the pair were moving house that year.

But Marlene Macdonald was sure she saw the boot after the move, and a spare key had been kept in it.

She was giving evidence on day 14 of Ewen Kerry Macdonald’s murder trial in the High Court at Wellington today.

Macdonald, 32, is accused of gunning down his brother-in-law Scott Guy at 4.43am on July 8, 2010, at the gates of Mr Guy’s Aorangi Rd property in rural Feilding.

The Crown says he did so in a pair of size nine dive boots.

The defence says Macdonald is not the killer.

His mother Marlene said in June 2010, while Ewen and Anna were in Fiji, she stayed at their house to look after the children.

She had checked the to see if there was still a spare key kept in a dive boot in the shoe cupboard.

“When I went and checked there was no dive boot in the cupboard,” Mrs Macdonald said.

In response to a question from defence lawyer Greg King, who asked if she had seen the spare key in the boot at Ewen and Anna’s old house, Mrs Macdonald said it was definitely at 147 Aorangi Rd.

Crown Prosecutor Ben Vanderkolk asked her if she and husband Kerry would socialise with the Guy family.

Mrs Macdonald said they would do so on special occasions and she remembered one New Year’s Eve gathering.

“We didn’t live in each other’s pockets. We’ve all got busy lives,” she said.

“They are a close knit family and when there’s a party everyone all turns up.”

10:51am: Earlier in her husband’s murder trial Anna Macdonald said she remembered throwing out a grotty old diving boot that belonged to him.

That was in 2008, when the pair were moving from 213 Aorangi Rd to the main farmhouse at 147 Aorangi Rd.

On day 14 of Ewen Kerry Macdonald’s murder trial in the High Court at Wellington today, his wife was asked by Crown Prosecutor Ben Vanderkolk when she remembered that piece of information.

The Crown says that Macdonald was wearing a pair of size nine dive boots when he killed his brother-in-law Scott Guy on July 8, 2010.

It is alleged that Macdonald bought the boots in 2004.

Mrs Macdonald said she could remember seeing the “scungy” old boot in 2008, which was at that time used to keep a spare key for 213 Aorangi Rd.

“I thought that I might have thrown it out but I wasn’t 100 per cent sure,” Mrs Macdonald said.

“I had a conversation with Ewen last year but I’m not exactly sure when, and he said to me: ‘They keep going on to me about the dive boots. Can you remember throwing them out on the trailer? Can you think about it?’

“I didn’t speak to him again about that.”

Mrs Macdonald said she had the conversation either in person or over the phone while her husband was in Manawatu Prison after his arrest on April 7 last year.

She could not though remember actually throwing the boot on to a trailer full of rubbish, but thought she would have.

“I’ve been thinking about this because this is blimmin’ doing my head in.”

Mrs Macdonald said at 213 Aorangi Rd the family had a boot cupboard chock full of shoes.

She definitely saw the old boot when they were moving.

“It had cobwebs over it and it looked pretty dirty like dry dirt. There was nothing ripped. It wasn’t falling apart.”

Ewen Macdonald's mother Marlene said her husband Kerry would let their boys, Ewen and Blair, handle firearms to learn about gun safety.

“I don’t like guns myself and wasn’t happy about it but there were boys and Kerry felt they needed to get rid of that curiosity so they didn’t play with guns.”

On July 8, 2010, Ewen rang his parents to tell them of Scott Guy’s death.

His father Kerry answered the phone, before he spoke to his mother.

“He said to me Scott’s been killed and I just stood their frozen,” Marlene Macdonald said.

“I said to him do you know whether he’s been killed or whether it was suicide.

“He said to me: ‘I don’t know mum’, and that was the end of the conversation.”

Later Marlene Macdonald dropped some baking and soup off at her son’s house.

“We had a quiet conversation together and I said to Ewen, did you find Scott, and he said: ‘No’, and I said to him, do you know how he was killed, and he said: “I think his throat might have been cut.”

He wasn’t sure about that though.

10:22am: Anna Macdonald no longer lives in the farmhouse she shared with her husband Ewen.

The pair and their children moved into 147 Aorangi Rd in 2008, when Mrs Macdonald’s parents Bryan and Jo Guy moved into Feilding.

But Mrs Macdonald said she moved away from the house on January 20 and a farm employee now lived there.

Mrs Macdonald was giving evidence on day 14 of Ewen Kerry Macdonald’s murder trial in the High Court at Wellington today.

Macdonald, 32, is accused of gunning down his brother-in-law Scott Guy at 4.43am on July 8, 2010, at the gates of Mr Guy’s Aorangi Rd property in rural Feilding.

The defence says Macdonald is not the killer.

Mrs Macdonald said her husband would get hunting equipment from his father’s Hunting and Fishing store.

“He got things pretty much cost [price] plus GST I think or discounted price at least anyway,” she said.

Macdonald would borrow firearms from his father’s shop and this would be recorded in a logbook.

He bought a bicycle from The Warehouse around the 2009/10 summer, as he wanted to get fit and ride with the children.

“He thought I should get a bike too bit I didn’t want to do that,” Mrs Macdonald said.

The Crown alleges Macdonald biked away from the murder scene, and Macdonald has admitted using a bike to travel to Scott and Kylee Guy’s part of the farm when he torched an old farmhouse and vandalised their new house.


- Manawatu Standard

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