Charles McCarthy murder accused could ‘see the rage in his eyes’ as victim approached

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Updated

February 13, 2019 20:32:08

A man accused of killing a Perth father by stabbing him in the head with a screwdriver has told a jury he felt scared and outnumbered during the fight, but never intended to inflict the fatal wound.

Key points:

  • Andrew Doan said he was trying to fish in peace when he was racially abused
  • He claimed Mr McCarthy rushed at him, impaling himself on a screwdriver
  • The defence and the prosecution disagree over who was the aggressor

In the early hours of Saturday, December 23, Andrew Doan had been fishing in the Swan River with a friend on Riverside Drive in East Fremantle.

At the same time Charles McCarthy was walking from a work Christmas function with his wife and a colleague towards the Tradewinds Hotel.

Giving evidence at his murder trial today, 35-year-old Mr Doan recalled one of the men in the group calling out to him and his friend as they emerged from the river, asking whether they had caught anything.

After replying that they had not had much luck, Mr Doan — who is of Asian descent — testified he heard one of the men say, “Fisheries are going to get you,” a comment he interpreted as racist.

“People stereotype that all Asians catch undersized fish, all Asians eat undersized fish,” Mr Doan told the court.

“Here we are just trying to fish in peace and quiet. There was no reason for anyone to abuse us like that.”

He pursued the group, imploring them to stop walking, and calling them racist.

That is when he said the men in the group became defensive and aggressive towards him.

“I only wanted to verbally confront them,” Mr Doan said.

“I was yelling at them, they were yelling at me, swearing at me.

“I was starting to feel outnumbered. I thought these guys are going to attack me.

“I had a panic. I thought I need to get home. I have a wife. I have a daughter.”

‘You could see the rage in his eyes’

The argument escalated and Mr Doan told the court he then began to retreat as Mr McCarthy became increasingly incensed.

He said at that point he removed a screwdriver, which he had intended to use to catch crabs, from his jumper pocket.

“You could see the rage in his eyes,” he said.

“It was almost demonic looking, it was really scary.”

He told the court that despite attempts by the victim’s wife to restrain her husband, Mr McCarthy rushed at him and he instinctively raised his hands to cover his face.

“I remember just lifting my arms really quickly. I was bracing for impact.”

When asked whether he knew the screwdriver was in his hand at that point, Mr Doan replied, “I forgot about it”.

The defence argues the victim impaled himself on the screwdriver, which struck him in the left temple causing a severe brain injury.

The parties are at odds over who was the aggressor in the incident.

Earlier in the trial, Mr McCarthy’s wife, Nicole, said Mr Doan had already armed himself with the screwdriver when he first approached the group, and that he had repeatedly threatened to stab them.

She recalled seeing her husband’s lifeless body fall to the ground before she started giving him CPR.

“He crumpled. I thought he’d been punched,” Mrs McCarthy told the jury.

Mr McCarthy died the following day in hospital as a result of the traumatic brain injury he sustained.

The father of two was originally from Cork in Ireland.

Topics:

murder-and-manslaughter,

courts-and-trials,

law-crime-and-justice,

perth-6000,

wa,

north-fremantle-6159

First posted

February 13, 2019 18:45:58



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