Caleb Jarrett
Caleb Jarrett

Dispute led to stab wounds: court

THE mother of Nambucca Heads teenager Caleb Jarrett, 18, who died of stab wounds during a late night dispute two years ago, has told a jury her son never carried a knife.

In the Supreme Court murder trial of the man accused of killing her son, Kim Jarrett took the stand yesterday, called as the crown’s first witness.

Mrs Jarrett delivered her brief testimony in front of Mitchell Anthony Winefield, 45, the man who has pleaded not guilty to her son’s murder.

Crown prosecutors allege that Winefield stabbed Caleb Jarrett multiple times during a late-night dispute in Mann Street.

Mrs Jarrett told the court the last time she saw Caleb was around 6pm on February 14, 2009 when he left the family home with a group of friends.

Under oath she was asked did her son ever carry a knife, to which she answered “never”.

Asked if he owned a knife, in particular a "black folding type knife" – the alleged murder weapon – she answered “no”.

In its opening address, the prosecution told the jury a post mortem found Caleb suffered eight knife injuries to his chest, abdomen, groin and legs. He died from a stab wound that pierced his heart.

The jury was told the dispute happened outside Winefield’s home about 11.45pm, as the accused reversed his four-wheel drive.

“The deceased made a punching action towards the vehicle, but apparently did not make contact. The deceased also yelled at the driver,” the prosecution said.

Winefield is said to have stepped out of the vehicle and approached the teenager.

“The accused struck a blow to the torso of the deceased and they became involved in a fight.

“Witnesses saw (Caleb) kick the accused in the head and they wrestled on the ground.

“The accused was seen by some of the witnesses to have a knife in his hand,” the prosecution said.

Winefield allegedly got back into the vehicle and drove off while friends of Caleb Jarrett’s lifted his shirt and discovered a large wound to his stomach.

One called triple-0 before a passing courtesy bus driver pulled over and again called for an ambulance. Caleb was rushed from the scene, but later died.

Police allege Winefield’s red Nissan Patrol was spotted by officers in Pioneer Street, 700 metres from the scene at 12.45pm.

He was allegedly placed under arrest after handing over a small black handled pocket knife.

Suffering a wound to his left hand, he was taken to Macksville Hospital and later underwent surgery in Coffs Harbour for a wound to his middle finger.

The trial before Justice Elizabeth Fullerton will be heard over the next three weeks.

A total of 35 witnesses will be called to give evidence, including Winefield.

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