A FORMER Launceston man got on ``fine'' with a bloke he knew as Red until he tied him up, bashed him with a hammer, injected him with saliva, doused him in petrol and put a shotgun to his head, a jury has heard.
Ravenswood's Nathan James ``Red'' Riley has pleaded not guilty to two counts of assaulting Timothy Robert John Saggers in April last year.
Yesterday in Launceston's Supreme Court the alleged victim said the prolonged attack began in a Ravenswood caravan where the heavy morphine and amphetamine user had gone to do drugs.
To his surprise Mr Riley, who he'd known for three years, showed up at the caravan and started punching him in the head.
``After I was tied up I was hit with a hammer . . . directly on my nose,'' he said.
The hammer attack included ``at least a couple dozen'' blows.
Mr Riley then smoked some ice and continued the attack with a metal vacuum cleaner pole, he said.
Following this Mr Riley spat in to a spoon, drew it into a syringe and injected Mr Saggers in the arm, the court heard.
Mr Saggers was then taken to a shed next to the caravan, tied up and left alone, the court heard.
He managed to get free but was pulled off the back fence by Mr Riley as he attempted to escape, he said.
After taking him back in to the shed Mr Riley produced a single barrel shotgun, Mr Saggers said.
``He pointed it right at my head and told me if I tried to escape he'd blow my head off,'' he said.
``Then he picked up a petrol can poured it over me and some got in my mouth and he just left.''
Mr Saggers said he was surprised to be told he could leave and was driven back to West Launceston by Greta Hodgetts, who lived in the caravan and had stood idly by during the attack.
He later went to the Launceston General Hospital with a collapsed lung, a broken rib and nose and fractured sinuses.
A few days later he developed an abscess where he'd allegedly been injected with saliva.
In his opening statement defence counsel Adrian Hall described Mr Saggers as an unreliable witness without credibility.
During cross-examination he pointed to inconsistencies in Mr Saggers' evidence-in-chief and statements he made to police and during preliminary proceedings.
Mr Hall highlighted Mr Saggers' criminal acts carried out to feed his drug habit.
``You now expect this jury to consider you a witness of the truth,'' Mr Hall asked.
``Yes I do,'' he said.
Mr Hall also questioned why he'd failed to mention the presence of Edward ``Ted'' Richards, who Mr Saggers owed $20 for drugs, during parts of the attack until yesterday in court.
``He did these things to you, what do you say to that?'' Mr Hall said.
``That's ridiculous,'' Mr Saggers said.
The trial continues today in front of Justice Helen Woods.