Ernest Fisher planned AFL grand final murder of son Matthew Fisher-Turner, witness tells court
A witness has told WA’s Supreme Court a man confessed to her during a prison visit how he bought “some sharp knives” to “dispose” of his son before fatally stabbing him.
Patricia Kearney was giving evidence at the trial of Ernest Fisher, 67, who is accused of murdering his 23-year-old son, Matthew Fisher-Turner, at the family’s Parmelia home on AFL grand final Day in October 2016.
Ms Kearney’s daughter was once in a relationship with Mr Fisher-Turner, and she told the court she knew him “very well”.
She testified about visiting Mr Fisher in Hakea Prison in November 2016 to discuss whether his son could be buried in the same plot as his mother, who died in March 2014.
Ms Kearney told the court about a conversation she had regarding Mr Fisher-Turner’s death, in which Mr Fisher told her his son was “a pest” and that he had not “wanted him around”.
Matthew Fisher-Turner was allegedly stabbed to death at the Parmelia house. (Facebook: RIP Matthew Fisher-Turner)
She said Mr Fisher said he had previously bought “some sharp knives,” which he had hid in the shed, “for the purpose of the right time to dispose of Matt”.
“I said ‘surely there had to be another way,’ and he said ‘none that I could think of’,” Ms Kearney told the court.
“I said ‘what about a violence restraining order’, and he said ‘that wouldn’t work. I had to get rid of him’.”
Ms Kearney testified Mr Fisher told her he “knew it was the right time to go to the shed and get the knives” after his son had yelled at him over the telephone.
“He knew that was the time he was going to kill him,” she said.
‘I wouldn’t be able to take him on my own’
Ms Kearney also talked about how Mr Fisher described killing his son, saying he targeted him in his brother’s bedroom.
“He said ‘I knew I wouldn’t be able to take him on my own’. He came by his side and he stabbed him several times.”
Matthew Fisher-Turner’s body was found four weeks after his alleged murder. (Facebook: Matthew Fisher-Turner)
Ms Kearney said she asked Mr Fisher if his son suffered, and he replied: “No … I stabbed him until I knew he was dead”.
She said after Mr Fisher-Turner initially disappeared, she visited Mr Fisher at his home and testified he told her his son had “gone over east with a hot chick”.
Ms Kearney said Mr Fisher also told her his son had been violent to him, showing her a bruise on his ribs that she described was “about the size of an orange”.
Ernest Fisher (centre) is accused of murder, and his children Joshua (left) and Hannah Fisher-Turner (right) are accused of disposing of the body of their brother. (ABC News: Anne Barnetson)
Mr Fisher’s lawyer Mara Barone put it to Ms Kearney that her client never described his son as “a pest”, said he had bought knives to dispose of him or talked about getting rid of him.
But she replied: “Yes, he did.”
Prosecutors allege Mr Fisher murdered his son because he wanted to go to a friend’s house to watch the AFL grand final, and he had not wanted the 23-year-old to use his car.
Mr Fisher admits he did fatally stab his son but denies it was murder, claiming he acted in defence of himself and other members of his family because Mr Fisher-Turner was aggressive and violent towards them.
Two of Mr Fisher’s other children, Matthew’s brother Joshua Fisher-Turner and his sister Hannah Fisher-Turner, are also on trial accused of trying to cover up the killing by burying his body and cleaning up the house.
His body was found buried in the backyard of the family’s Parmelia home on October 27, 2016.
He was allegedly murdered four weeks earlier, and his body was discovered 10 days after his friends reported him missing.