Lottah murder trial jury to decide whether Kerry Bilston deliberately shot neighbour Dean Manshanden

A jury will soon decide whether a Lottah man is guilty of killing his neighbour by shooting him in the back of the head.

Kerry Alexander Bilston, 66, has pleaded not guilty to murdering 47-year-old Dean Manshanden in October last year.

Taking the stand in the Launceston Supreme Court on Tuesday, Mr Bilston said he aimed the shotgun in the air before firing it and “to this day” he “cannot explain” how Mr Manshanden was hit. 

Justice Robert Pearce.

Justice Robert Pearce.

Closing addresses began before Justice Robert Pearce on Wednesday morning and the jury could begin deliberating as soon as Wednesday afternoon.

The panel will need to consider evidence from the past week and a half, which included audio from the triple-0 call made by Mr Bilston, a video interview with police and claims by the accused that he was “only firing a warning shot”.

The jury has also heard from multiple police witnesses, including ballistics experts, and friends of the victim.

Details of an ongoing dispute between the accused killer and the victim were shared by the majority of witnesses, including Mr Bilston who claims Mr Manshanden had “harassed and bullied him and his wife for months”.

TRIAL COVERAGE SO FAR:

Mr Manshanden’s family has sat in the back of the court throughout the entire proceedings and during his evidence on Tuesday, Mr Bilston told them he was sorry.

He said he thought about the incident every day and had been seeing a counsellor ever since. 

The Crown case is that Mr Bilston grabbed his gun and shot Mr Manshanden who was “unarmed, on his own property and turned away”.