Farm 'not big enough' for Scott Guy and accused
The younger brother of slain Feilding farmer Scott Guy cannot be certain the man accused of killing him owned a pair of dive boots.
Distinctive footprints made by a person wearing dive boots were found near the body of Guy when he was murdered.
The Crown said the footprints were made by a pair of size nine Proline dive boots similar to a pair owned by Guy's brother-in-law Ewen Macdonald, who is on trial for his July 8, 2010 murder.
Scott Guy's younger brother Callum Guy took to the witness box this afternoon and told the Wellington High Court he was unable to be certain whether Ewen Macdonald had dive boots.
Callum told defence lawyer Greg King that while it sounded familiar that Macdonald had dive boots, he could not be sure.
He said he had thought a lot about dive boots after being asked about them, and Callum himself owned a different brand of dive boots.
Earlier today, the court had heard that Macdonald told Callum that the police were hopeless and had no idea who had shot Scott.
Callum said they had been out in the cowshed when Macdonald made the comment and he could not remember when it was said, but he thought it may have come just after Macdonald had an interview with police.
Callum said he had asked Macdonald if the police had any idea who had killed Scott, and he got the impression that if they were asking Macdonald then they did not have a clue.
“I didn’t see anything sinister in the comment at the time.’’
Callum also told Crown prosecutor Ben Vanderkolk that it was his mother, Joanne Guy ,that told him his brother had been fatally shot, not McDonald. Questions have been asked of a number of witnesses as to how Mcdonald knew Guy was shot, when initial reports from those who found Scott's body were that his throat had been slit.
“I had thought it was a traffic accident not that he had been killed,’’ Callum said.
Callum said he did receive a cell phone call on the morning Scott died from Mcdonald.
“He said there had been an accident and to come back to the house.”
Callum said he knew it was an accident involving Scott, but he could not remember what he said back to Macdonald.
The jury today also watched Callum break down and re-assemble the farm shotgun in court to show the jury how it was done.
He was asked by Crown prosecutor Ben Vanderkolk to show the jury how easy it was.
Callum said ammunition was kept in the safe and some was lying around in the cow shed. A gun belt with ammunition was kept in the gunsafe along with parts of the broken-down farm gun.
Callum said he had seen Macdonald use the farm gun and knew he had access to it. He said he had been hunting with Macdonald on occasion and seen him with the gun.
The jury heard the guns were kept in a gunsafe in the garage and a key was needed to open the safe along with a combination to get to the guns.
Callum said himself, Scott, Macdonald, Scott's father Bryan Guy and farm worker Simon Asplin all had access to the farm gun.
When talking about Mcdonald and Scott's relationship, Callum said a confrontation at a family event between the pair stood out for him.
“I think Scott had thought that Ewen was going to finish work early (to go to the event) and instead Ewen stayed to clean up.”
They got into an argument and Callum said he was at the table with his sister Anna - Mcdonald's wife - at the time.
“I felt very uncomfortable. You could tell they were getting frustrated with each other.”
Callum said there had been other similar circumstances where there had been miscommunication between the two men.
In her testimony earlier today, Scott's mother Joanne Guy said Macdonald had said he was sick of Scott skiving off and not pulling his weight at the family function.
Scott's oldest sister Nikki Guy remembered Scott leaving the event saying he was "not going to listen to that shit'' and heard that Macdonald had been cross with Scott for leaving work early to go to the event.
Macdonald was sitting there with his arms crossed and he didn't look concerned that he had caused that and ruined the dinner party, she told the jury.
Nikki said Scott had come back from a conference with Macdonald feeling positive and full of plans for the future only weeks before he was shot.
It was the first time she thought Scott had moved on to a good working relationship with Macdonald.
Others had noticed rivalries between the two men, and today, in her second day in the witness box, Nikki spoke of their wranglings for dominance over the family farm.
She told the court she had also noticed rivalries between the two men and the farm wasn't big enough for them to have the same equal partnership.
She described Scott as a big-picture person while Macdonald more of a doer and was more task-oriented.
"Scott was big talker, always talking about what he wanted to do next.
"Ewen was quiet and carrying on and doing the work," she said.
Joanne Guy also said there were tensions over the farm's ownership.
She had said a future goal for the farm was to increase the financial shareholding for each of the couples involved.
Her husband Bryan Guy had prepared a future growth plan that included increasing Scott and Kylee Guy and Anna and Ewen Macdonald's financial stake to 20 per cent within a few years.
Joanne Guy told King that none of it was going to happen unless everyone was involved.
The court also heard that Scott was unhappy with Macdonald and his family moving into the home he had grown up in.
Joanne Guy said it had been decided, that with a growing family, Macdonald and his wife Anna along with their four children would move into one of the Aorangi Rd homes in 2008.
She was unsure exactly why Scott was unhappy about it but thought it might have been because it had been the family home, and he thought he should inherit the farm.
During a business meeting with a consultant about how to grow the farming operation, Scott had indicated that he should inherit the business.
Joanne Guy said her husband was unhappy about that and said it was not going to happen.
"Yes it was a bit of a surprise, you just don't think that these days, we had to buy out Bryan's parents and you don't think of it," she told Crown prosecutor Ben Vanderkolk.
She said there was a lot of meetings about how to structure the farm, including bankers and accountants, however she said she did not feel Macdonald participated as much as Scott in the meetings.
The tensions between the pair had gotten so noticeable both Mcdonald and Scott were sent to a conference in the weeks before the shooting to help their bonding.
Joanne Guy said it was supposed to be a bonding session at the Invercargill conference in June 2010, and to help them with ideas.
She thought they were getting on well at that stage and there did not seem to be any conflict throughout the trip.
Afterwards, however, Macdonald told her Scott had texted Kylee far too much and that it wasn't necessary to talk to home quite so much.
She said Macdonald was worried about the future of the dairy farm after the conference.
The trial continues.