Witness ‘went on the run’ after alleged stomping murder of Summerhill man Peter Fitzgerald

Police at Kerry Court in December, 2016 after Peter Fitzgerald was found dead.
Police at Kerry Court in December, 2016 after Peter Fitzgerald was found dead.

A witness who tried to cover up his involvement in an alleged stomping murder “went on the run” shortly after the incident, a jury has heard.

Sean Darcy Watkins was questioned by defence lawyer Greg Richardson for the second time on Friday during the trial into Peter Fitzgerald’s death at Summerhill in December 2016.

Mr Watkins’ friend Anthony Colin Finnegan has been accused of murdering Mr Fitzgerald, and has pleaded not guilty.

The jury previously heard Mr Watkins ended up at the scene of the alleged crime after Mr Fitzgerald had died following a drunken dispute with Mr Finnegan, which ended with him allegedly being stomped and kicked in the head and left to drown in his own blood on his laundry floor.

Mr Watkins told the court after he went to Mr Fitzgerald’s house and found him dead on the floor, he washed blood off his hands and hid clothing to avoid being linked to the scene.

Mr Watkins claimed to have gone to the house to check the alleged victim was OK, but the defence has suggested he was going there to steal money - which the witness denied.

Continuing his cross-examination on Friday morning, Mr Richardson suggested it was Mr Watkins “and or” another witness, Cameron Tattersall, who caused Mr Fitzgerald’s death - rather than his client.

“I suggest to you when you arrived at the unit, Mr Fitzgerald was still alive,” Mr Richardson said.

“No,” Mr Watkins replied.

“You and or Mr Tattersall caused his death,” Mr Richardson continued.

“No,” the witness said.

A few months after the alleged murder, Mr Watkins went to Queensland, the court heard.

“Did you go on the run for a short period,” Mr Richardson asked.

“A short time later yeah,” Mr Watkins said.

Taking the stand, Mr Watkins’ girlfriend detailed a phone call between the accused, Mr Watkins and Mr Tattersall on the night of the alleged murder.

“[Mr Finnegan] said he’s f—ed up, that he’d hit Fitzy,” she recalled.

“He was laughing.”

In another call later in the night, she said Mr Watkins told her “Fitzy was dead”.

He then told her to delete her call log and messages and not tell police she had seen him that night, the court heard.

The trial before Justice Michael Brett continues, with the Crown case expected to close by Wednesday.

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