Cairns court told accused confused over death
MURDER accused Robert John Wilson has told a Cairns Supreme Court jury he "goes blank" when he attempts to remember why he killed his 88-year-old employer more than two years ago.
Mr Wilson, 61, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of grazier David Thornton and took to the witness stand on day two of his trial yesterday, within hours of his wife also giving evidence.
The experienced stockman has admitted he killed Mr Thornton on March 12, 2010, by striking him twice in the head with the blunt end of an axe and shooting him, but the court heard two psychiatrists would give evidence today that he may not have had the capacity to control his actions due to his severe bi-polar disorder.
Mr Wilson told the court he still did not know why he killed Mr Thornton, whom he had begun to act as a carer for on his Mt Carbine property in the years before his death.
"I've tried a few times but I just can't seem to get nothing," he said.
"If I could remember I think I'd say so, because why lie?"
On cross-examination, crown prosecutor Roger Griffith put forward that Mr Wilson seemed able to tell police what he had done and where the victim's body was in the hours after the incident.
Mr Wilson replied he remembered the incident "to a point", but found it hard to focus on the actual killing.
Mr Wilson's wife, June Wilson, broke down as she retold a phone conversation with her husband the day of the incident.
"He said: 'I've killed the old fella'," Mrs Wilson said.
"He mentioned he could see an axe or something.
"He seemed so confused."
Mr Thornton's nephew, Malcolm McDougall, told the court the grazier was a "difficult man to please" and he thought that Mr Wilson had "treated him well".
The trial continues before Justice Jim Henry today.
NEW CAIRNS.COM.AU COMMENT POLICY
We welcome your comments on this story. Comments are submitted for possible publication on the condition that they may be edited. Comments submitted without a full name and suburb/location will not be considered for publication. Please read our full comment policy and publication guidelines.
Share this article
Trial witness: June Wilson (centre) leaves court after giving evidence at the murder trial of her husband Robert Wilson, who has been charged with murdering his 88-year-old employer.