Police at the scene of a fatal stabbing in Barrow Lane in Lismore.
Police at the scene of a fatal stabbing in Barrow Lane in Lismore. Alina Rylko

Shocking triple-0 call records stab victim's final moments

A HARROWING triple-0 call recorded the last minutes of Lismore stab victim Shawn Gibson's life as his distraught father and then paramedics tried vainly to stem the bleeding and resuscitate the 29-year-old.

The 15 minute call has been heard by the jury in the Supreme Court trial of father Christopher John Gibson, who is accused of murder of his son during a violent altercation on the evening of November 18, 2016.

The court has heard Gibson, now 63, claimed he was defending himself when his son "flew" at him in a rage in the living room of his North Lismore home.

The younger Gibson was stabbed twice, with one fatal wound on the right side of his neck severing a critical artery when it penetrated his upper chest lining to a depth of 6cm.

In the distressing triple-0 call the father could be heard screaming down the phone line at a female operator for several agonising minutes, after which paramedics arrived and unsuccessfully attempted to resuscitate the son.

The court has heard the pair had a troubled history, but on the night of the alleged murder the elder Gibson had planned to cook dinner for Shawn.

The weapon used in the fatal incident was a 15cm kitchen knife Mr Gibson had on hand to prepare a chicken cacciatore.

Some of the crucial evidence presented at the trial in the Supreme Court in Lismore has revolved around whether the stab wounds constituted either a deliberate stabbing, a reactionary defensive act, or a combination of both.

Forensic pathologist Professor Johann Duflou gave evidence on Wednesday that the 6cm deep wound, which just penetrated the pleura which lines the chest cavity was a "freak" injury which "you would only see once or rarely in your career".

Defence barrister Jason Watts asked if the wounds were consistent with the younger Gibson lunging towards his father and "impaling himself" on the knife.

Professor Duflou agreed that this was a possibility and added that if there was a "plunging" of the 15cm knife with some force, it would have typically gone deeper than 6cm.

However, given Shawn Gibson stood 18cm taller than his father, the court heard that he would have been bent down, possibly in a rugby style tackling lunge to be stabbed in such a fashion.

Under cross examination from Crown prosecutor Brendan Campbell, Professor Duflou also agreed that it was impossible to say whether it was the knife which moved toward the body or the body toward the knife.

He also said: "It's very hard to say the exact position of each person, there are just so many variables... you can be inadvertently misled by the autopsy report."

The court has heard both men had been drinking that night, with a bottle of Bundaberg Rum bought the same night from a South Lismore bottle shop later found partially consumed.

Subsequent testing indicated Shawn Gibson had a blood alcohol reading of 0.113.

The court has also heard Shawn had convictions dating back to 2009 for domestic violence assault matters, breaching an apprehended violence order, fraud, and drug and drink driving.

In May 2016 he was sentenced to an 18-month jail sentence to be served via a non-custodial intensive corrections order.

The court has heard that during a recorded police interview following his son's death Mr Gibson had become "distraught and completely despondent", that police restrained him primarily to stop him harming himself.

A compact man with greying hair and a tanned complexion, he has appeared calm throughout the proceedings, wearing a navy blue shirt and dark grey pants.

The trial continues.



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