Cairns man pleads not guilty in manslaughter trial
A KEWARRA Beach man allegedly distributed nude photos of his former girlfriend, sparking a violent visit from her brother who "lost control" and killed him, a court has heard.
Joshua William Hickson, 30, has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and faced day one of a Cairns Supreme Court trial yesterday, which delved into the circumstances in the death of 44-year-old Gregory Elms in January 2011.
Crown prosecutor Roger Griffith told the court Mr Elms was in a relationship with the accused's sister, but when she rejected his marriage proposal in late 2010 his behaviour turned "rather less than chivalrous" and he used his phone to distribute explicit photos and videos of her.
"He also forwarded them to her brother, Joshua Hickson," Mr Griffith said.
"Needless to say, that didn't go down too well."
Young mother Allison Lacey gave evidence that she drove Mr Hickson and his friend Brendan Gobus to Kewarra Beach on January 15, 2011, and dropped them off near Mr Elms' Frankston St home.
Ms Lacey said within 10 minutes, she received a phone call asking to pick the pair up and when she did she noted Mr Hickson was extremely upset and had injured his foot.
"He was just crying and just upset and muttering to himself about how he had stuffed up and lost control," she said.
She said when she took Mr Hickson back to his home he told his sister "she should never have asked him to go there".
Mr Gobus explained Mr Elms had threatened him with an axe handle, she said.
"He said that Joshua put him (Mr Elms) on the floor and stomped on him," she said.
Ms Lacey said Mr Gobus told her he moved Mr Elms from the hallway into the bathroom.
"I distinctly asked him if he had a pulse," she said. "Gobus said 'yes, he had a pulse'."
Mr Elms' body was severely decomposed when it was found a week later, which made it impossible to determine a cause of death.
The trial continues today.
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Tragic case: Family members of Gregory Elms leave court yesterday. Mr Elms' death in 2011 has led to a manslaughter trial. Picture: STEWART McLEAN