Boot print found near Scott Guy's body

DEBORAH MORRIS
Last updated 17:12 25/06/2012
Ewen Macdonald
ROSS GIBLIN/ Fairfax NZ
MURDER ACCUSED: Ewen Macdonald.
Scott Guy
SCOTT GUY: Killed in 2010.

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A wavy-patterned boot print in Scott Guy's driveway was "quite close" to where the Fielding farmer lay dead, a scientist says.

Guy was shot twice in his driveway on July 8, 2010 at 4.43am. The Crown says Ewen Macdonald, his brother-in-law, shot him over tensions over the future of the family farm.

Macdonald has pleaded not guilty. The Crown evidence is expected to finish this week.

Today, the Crown has called witnesses about the footprints found at the scene. It has already told the jury about distinctive ripple-soled footprints found near Guy's body and around the property.

Macdonald is alleged to have owned a pair of Proline dive boots with the same sole.

The jury heard that all footprint impressions around the scene of Guy's killing at Aorangi Rd were identified and eliminated except for wavy-patterned prints, which were found around Guy's ute, his gate and across a nearby paddock.

ESR forensic scientist David Peter Neale said he examined the scene over two visits.

One wavy-patterned footwear impression was filling with blood near Guy's head, Neale told the jury.

The jury has begun to see the many plaster casts of footprints.

He explained how some were able to be determined as left or right and how they could be used to show the direction of travel of the wearer.

Neale said the print found near Guy's head was quite close, with a cap Guy had been wearing between his head and the print.

"While I was at the scene the blood was still flowing into the impression," Neale said.

He said that meant the print was made before the blood began to flow into it.

Neale said he was asked to determine the characteristics of the footwear that made the impressions.

He did not have a known pair of shoes to match them to.

Neale said the impressions were carefully lifted from the scene and taken to ESR without cleaning them.

He also examined an area of Scott Guy's driveway and also part of the nearby road way on two visits to the murder scene.

The court also heard that multiple footprint impressions found near Guy's feet had the distinctive wavy lined pattern.

However, it was difficult to tell the direction of all the footprints, Neale said.

A footprint found in the gateway of the paddock on a muddy surface appeared to be a left foot print heading toward the paddock.

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Several impressions of the same footprint were found in a straight line going between one of the sheds and the gateway, but Neale said there was no way to tell in which direction the wearer had been going.

He said the area across the paddock was quite soft so police could make very good casts of the prints.

Neale showed the jury a blank area between the front of the foot and the heel and a small square protruding between the two areas of wavy lines.

The soles of the Proline boots, which are exhibits in court, have a small square with the size stamped in that position.

One of the prints from soft ground showed Neale that the thickness of the sole would be clearly visible up the side of the shoe.

A multiple diamond pattern was seen in one of the casts, on the edge on the sole, Neale said.

NO MATCH FOR WAVY-PATTERNED PRINT

Detective Laurie Howell reviewed the footwear impression investigation done by police.

He said the majority of the impressions of prints found at the scene of Guy's body were made with the wavy pattern.

Howell said the other footwear impressions in the area were identified and eliminated.

The Crown says the distinctive pattern was made by Proline dive boots allegedly worn by Macdonald the day he shot Scott Guy.

Dozens of shops that sell footwear between Hawke's Bay, across to Wanganui and down to Wellington were checked with to see if the impression could be identified and nothing was located.

Databases in Australia, Canada and with the FBI were also searched to see if the patterned prints could be matched, Howell told the jury.

Police also viewed more than 30,000 shoes online, but did not find anything similar to the Proline dive boots.

Howell researched the manufacture and availability of Proline boots overseas.

He found a company in America, Topline Manufacturing, online who used to have the boots made in Taiwan.  They had stopped making them in 2006.

He ordered some although they were ones manufactured in China years after the original boots were made.

Howell said the boots were a little different, with a different logo.  The sole pattern was similar but not as clearly defined.

After finding a size nine Proline boot, he sent it to be checked against the plaster casts of the prints found at the scene.

ACCUSED'S FATHER SOLD PROLINE BOOTS

Richard Stephens, an importer of hunting equipment into New Zealand, supplied items like ammunition, decoys, firearms and also footwear to Hunting and Fishing Ltd. The store was owned by Macdonald's father, Kerry.

In 2003, Stephens sold five size-nine pairs of Proline diving boots to the store. There were 56 pairs of size-nine boots sold nationwide.

Stephens told the court one shipment of 305 pairs of Proline boots was made that year.

He said he had thought the boots could be used as a hunting camp boot or a rock fishing boot.

He said the wholesale price was $35, plus GST. Of the shipment, 281 pairs were sold between the sizes of seven  to 13.

Stephens said he used invoices from his business to work out how many pairs of Proline diving boots went to the Manawatu.

Twenty nine pairs of Proline diving boots were unaccounted for in the importers records, Stephens told defence lawyer Greg King.

Under cross-examination he agreed that he was unable to say what had happened to those boots, but thought they may have been given out as samples or sold at trade shows.

Stephens also said he could not know if the boots were sold online from the American company or were parallel imported. He did not have the exclusive rights to import the boots.

An article written to help sell the Proline dive boots recommended them for sneaking up on animals while hunting.

Andrew Tannock who owns the parent Hunting and Fishing company said the stores sold the Proline boots.

He said there was a market for a light boot to wear in camp.  The Proline was better than anything seen on the market up until then.

"The Proline, it was a boot that filled a niche at the time.''

He said hunters used them for quietness and there was no similar boot available through the store at the time.

Tannock said he wrote the article which came out in the store's catalogue in 2004, saying they were a quiet boot to hunt in.

COURT LOOKS TO BOOTS WORN ON HUNTING TRIPS

Auto technician Joshua Hunt met Ewen Macdonald on a hunting trip to Stewart Island and remembered him wearing what he called scuba boots.

He said the trip was in 2004.

The Crown has alleged size nine Proline dive boots were worn by the person who killed Scott Guy, leaving distinctive ripple soled impressions near the body.

Under cross examination by King, Hunt said he was asked by police to examine photographs of the trip under a magnifying glass.

He said he was unable to associate any particular boots with Macdonald.

Armourer Graeme Hunt, who did firearm repair work for the Palmerston North Hunting and Fishing store, said he had been on hunting trips with the accused's father and later with Ewen Macdonald as well.

He was shown photographs of a hunting trip to Stewart Island trip when Ewen Macdonald had been along.

He said he also dealt with Ewen Macdonald when he went to the Guy family farm to do engineering work.

Deer hunter Donald Pescini told the court his pair of his Proline dive boots were taken by the police. He said he mainly used them when hunting sika deer and bought them from Hunting and Fishing in Palmerston North

SCENE EXAMINATION

Earlier this morning the jury heard more evidence about the extensive police searches of the scene following the shooting.

Detective Glen Jackson told the court he searched the roadside near Scott Guy's home, recording tyre impressions and finding items like a takeaway coffee cup lid.

He said the items that were found were sent away to be tested.

A Winfield Gold cigarette packet was also found.

Jackson also seized a variety of hunting equipment from Macdonald's home.

He said he had gone there with a list of gear Macdonald was supposed to own. The accused's wife Anna Macdonald helped Jackson to find the gear in a range of places around the house.

Jackson said he also found a splitting axe. The court heard it was used to smash up Scott and Kylee Guy's new home.

Howell also seized a number of items from Ewen Macdonald's home, including a bicycle, a pair of his hunting boots and a presentation he had prepared for the farm manager of the year competition.

- The Dominion Post

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