Murder accused granted bail after Halloween death
A man charged with murder claims he was acting in defence when he fought another man who came to a woman's home at night, carrying a bottle of petrol and threatened to burn him.
Kevin Edward Jones, 52, died after he was hit by Jason Moana Rimene and his head hit a concrete driveway, at a Tingalpa home on October 31, the Supreme Court heard.
Rimene, who was charged with Mr Jones's murder, was granted bail by Justice Peter Callaghan, who said although Rimene killed Mr Jones, he could raise legal defences for his actions.
The Supreme Court heard the fight between Mr Jones and Rimene arose out of a previous dispute about money between Mr Jones's nephew and the woman at the Tingalpa home.
The nephew had previously been in a relationship with the woman and Rimene also had a previous romantic association with her, the court heard.
Rimene's lawyer Tim Ryan told the court Mr Jones had become caught up in acrimony over the loan dispute over a moderate amount of money and had made a series of threats.
Mr Ryan said Rimene's use of lethal force was his defensive reaction to the threat posed by Mr Jones appearing at the woman's home on the evening of October 31.
He said the woman told police when she and Rimene answered a knock on her door she saw Mr Jones wearing gloves and a hoodie over his head.
Mr Ryan said the woman said she smelt a strong smell of fuel and saw the driveway was wet and a paramedic who arrived later also smelt petrol and saw a bottle and a lighter.
He said when Mr Jones told Rimene he was going to burn him, Rimene knocked a bottle out of his hand, before they fought.
Mr Ryan said Rimene told police Mr Jones lost consciousness and after he lifted his head slightly, he struck him on the jaw and pushed his head backwards, causing his head to hit the concrete driveway.
The Crown prosecutor said Rimene had assaulted Mr Jones when he was on the ground and had told police he did not want Mr Jones to get up.
She said it would be up to a jury to determine whether the level of force used by Rimene was reasonable or excessive.
Justice Callaghan said the circumstances of the alleged murder were "in some ways incomprehensible''.
He said it seemed the impact of Mr Jones's head with the concrete driveway was caused by considerable force and Rimene had been fairly charged with murder.
But he said Mr Jones had arrived at the house seemingly armed with the means of and exhibiting the apparent intention of causing harm to those present.
Justice Callaghan said it was claimed an unarmed Rimene had been responding to a threat which, given the presence of petrol, could be said to be "a sinister one''.
He said Rimene could argue a defence of lawful use of force and the case against him was not so overwhelming as to compel a conclusion that a conviction was inevitable.
New Zealand-born Rimene, 52, of Tamborine Mountain, who has been in Australia for 30 years, on a temporary visa, was granted bail on conditions including daily reporting to police and wearing a GPS tracking device.
Originally published as Murder accused granted bail after Halloween death