A good working relationship

GRANT Connelly and his boss, Andrew Walker, had a good working relationship, according to Ivan Edwards.

They did have the 'odd argument', he said, but that was all part of the transport game.

Mr Edwards gave evidence in the Coffs Harbour Supreme Court yesterday at the trial of Connelly, 36, who is accused of murdering Mr Walker, 41, in December, 2005.

Mr Edwards, the operations manager for Mr Walker's firm, was at a Christmas party at the Walkers' Moonee Beach property on December 17, 2005.

About 7pm, he said, Mr Walker called a meeting with his drivers to tell them another company was interested in buying the business and if that happened, everyone would still have their jobs.

However, some people 'made a scene' because they were uncertain about their positions.

Mr Edwards said Connelly 'wasn't very happy, he had a family to support and didn't know what he was going to do'.

Afterwards, Mr Edwards said Connelly 'got into my face a bit'.

"He was very upset about it. I tried to explain his position was still safe. His fists were closed, but were never raised," he said.

The situation settled down when Connelly's wife took him away.

Truckie Peter Gough, one of Mr Walker's employees in 2005, told the court he saw Mr Walker and Connelly talking together at the party about 10.30pm or 11pm, and there seemed to be tension between them.

Later that night, according to Mr Gough, Connelly said: 'I'm going home, I've just decked Walker', and Connelly had a small amount of blood on his lower lip.

Another of Mr Walker's employees, Peter Chiplin, said he saw Connelly enter the pool area at the party and yell at his wife, saying: "Tanya, give me the f.... car keys."

Then Mr Walker's wife, Sandra, came in screaming 'help, help, Andrew isn't breathing, Grant has belted him'.

The trial continues.



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