Murder trial hears mum's evidence
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.
Kim Jarrett took to the stand yesterday as the Crown’s first witness in the Supreme Court murder trial of Mitchell Anthony Winefield, 45, the man accused of killing her son.
Mrs Jarrett delivered her brief testimony in front of Winefield, who has pleaded not guilty to the promising footballer’s murder.
Crown prosecutors allege Winefield stabbed Caleb multiple times, during a late night dispute in Mann Street.
Mrs Jarrett told the court the last time she saw Caleb was about 6pm on February 14, 2009, when he left 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 and had died from a stab wound which pierced his heart.
The jury was told the dispute happened outside Winefield’s home about 11.45pm, as the accused reversed his 4WD.
“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,” the prosecution said.
“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.”
Winefield allegedly drove off in the vehicle while friends of Caleb 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 St, 700 metres from the scene, at 12.45pm. He was placed under arrest after allegedly 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 laceration to his middle finger.
The trial before Justice Elizabeth Fullerton will be heard over the next three weeks.