29 Jun 2012

Crown accused of presuming Macdonald's guilt

8:19 pm on 29 June 2012

The defence lawyer, Greg King, has accused the Crown of making a presumption of guilt in its handling of the case against his client, Ewen Macdonald.

Mr Macdonald is before the High Court in Wellington, charged with murdering his brother-in-law, Scott Guy in July 2010.

Mr King finished his closing address on Friday and said another worker on the Guy farm, Simon Asplin, had also harboured a long-standing grudge against Scott Guy.

He said Mr Asplin was 15 minutes early to work the morning Mr Guy died, drove a sedan similar to one seen on Aorangi Road around the time of the shooting and also owned a semi-automatic weapon.

Mr King said all those points could seem sinister if viewed in the same way the Crown looked at matters concerning Ewen Macdonald.

Earlier, Mr King has told the court the relationship between Mr Macdonald and Mr Guy had never been better than in July two years ago when Mr Guy was killed.

Mr King, continuing his closing address, said many witnesses including Mr Macdonald's wife had given evidence that when Mr Guy died the two men had been getting along well.

The Crown prosecutor said on Thursday that Mr Macdonald had already carried out several attacks on Mr Guy's property and was motivated by a desire to drive him from the family farm.

However Mr King said while those attacks were cowardly and stupid, his client had only ever attacked property, and that didn't make him a murderer.

He said the evidence also contradicted the Crown's claim that Ewen Macdonald had a disagreement with David Berry - the man who found the body - over whether Scott Guy had been shot or had his throat cut.