The first three days of the murder trial of Traralgon man William Scriven has heard from the Thexton Street neighbours with whom he had an altercation the evening before 32 year-old Wayne Glenn Bayley’s death.
Scriven, 35, is accused of murdering Mr Bayley in the early hours of 22 December 2012 by stabbing him three times to the upper body in Scriven’s front yard at 8 Thexton Street.
The court heard on the evening of 21 December 2012, a verbal altercation broke out between Scriven’s partner Kerry Compden and the pair’s neighbour from two doors away, Donna Kavanagh.
This escalated to a physical altercation between Scriven, Ms Kavanagh’s partner Michael Hill and their then-15 year-old son Tyson.
Tyson and Ms Kavanagh told the court Scriven threw the first punch and Tyson hit back.
Tyson told the court, during the fight Mr Hill had Scriven on the ground, while Tyson kicked the accused in the head.
The fight was then broken up by another neighbour, the court heard.
Tyson told the court yesterday Ms Compden went to her and Scriven’s home at 8 Thexton Street and returned with a “big knife”.
Tyson said Scriven had also gone to the house and armed himself with a tyre iron.
He then took the knife from his partner, Tyson told the court.
In court on Tuesday, Mr Hill admitted to arming himself with a baseball bat.
Ms Kavanagh told the court she was “frightened and scared” Scriven would stab her.
Tyson, Ms Kavanagh, Mr Hill and another Thexton Street neighbour and witness Jenny Canty told the court at the conclusion of the fight, Scriven issued a death threat.
Ms Canty said police arrived and Scriven put his finger across his neck toward Mr Hill and Ms Kavanagh and said “don’t sleep tonight”.
Scriven was then arrested by police.
During cross-examination, defence barrister John Kelly said mention of the threat to kill was not within Tyson or Ms Kavanagh’s statements.
The court heard Mr Hill, Ms Kavanagh and Ms Canty went to Mr Bayley’s sister Kylie Stone’s house that night, where Mr Bayley and his girlfriend Belinda Collins were.
The witnesses told the court there was no plan to approach Scriven following the initial altercation, with Mr Hill saying he wanted to make peace.
The court heard Mr Hill and Ms Kavanagh left Ms Stone’s house first about 11pm, and Tyson made a call to Ms Canty, who left next for her home at 2 Thexton Street.
Ms Canty told the court Tyson told her Scriven had been let out of police custody.
She said she wanted to go home to be with her kids.
During his evidence, Tyson said he did not call Ms Canty to inform her of Mr Scriven’s return to Thexton Street, rather his mother “wanted her for some reason”.
Ms Kavanagh denied suggestions by Mr Kelly the phone call occurred because the plan was to wait for Scriven to arrive home and “gather the troops”.
Tyson told the court the adults were counting down the hours of Scriven’s return.
He said they came home because of the earlier threat by Scriven.
Mr Hill said he “knew the justice system” and that Scriven would likely be let out in about four hours from his arrest, and as such went home to the kids.
When asked whether he was worked up following the initial fight, Mr Hill said “my word I was”.
Tyson said it was “most likely” his parents had told Mr Bayley about the incident with Scriven.
The court heard Mr Bayley, Ms Stone and Ms Collins arrived at Thexton Street soon after Ms Canty.
Mr Bayley then approached Samantha Caldwell, the woman who had driven Scriven and his partner home and parked her car in Scriven’s driveway, the court heard.
Ms Canty told the court Ms Stone joined Mr Bayley in the discussion which was about the alleged theft of Collingwood memorabilia from Ms Stone’s shed.
Tyson told the court yesterday, his father, Mr Hill, was the first to strike Scriven, followed by a strike from Mr Bayley.
Mr Hill denied this in his testimony.
The court heard a fight broke out between Mr Bayley and Mr Scriven, which ended in Mr Bayley’s death.
Mr Hill denied he was armed with anything.
He told the court Scriven ran up one side of the two cars parked in the driveway of number eight, chased by Mr Bayley, and Mr Hill ran up the other side of the cars.
Under cross examination, he denied doing this as an attempt to prevent Scriven from reaching his front door, rather, he was trying to stop the pair from fighting.
Ms Canty told the court Mr Bayley was “sort of” kneeling over the top of and punching Scriven, who was on his back.
She then saw Mr Bayley “arching back and forwards” and thought Scriven was punching him.
Ms Canty said Mr Bayley rose up and staggered back, before falling between the cars.
She said Scriven went inside after the fight and opened the door twice.
She said the first time, “he opened the door and said ‘hahaha gotcha’,” and the second time he laughed.
“Mark (Bhugwana) pulled Wayne’s shirt off and said he’d been stabbed and we tried to put pressure on it,” Ms Canty said.
She said she did not see Scriven’s hands as they were tucked up under his jacket.
Becoming emotional on the stand, Mr Hill said he went to run at Scriven, but was held back by Mr Bhugwana “because I would’ve been next”.
Tyson told the court he had seen Scriven laugh before heading inside his home.
Mr Hill said Scriven had opened his door and laughed, while Ms Kavanagh said she had heard someone laughing, but was concentrating on Mr Bayley.
During cross-examination, Mr Kelly said there was nothing in Ms Kavanagh’s statements to police and Ms Canty’s and Mr Hill’s first statements about the laugh.
Mr Kelly said Tyson had told police Scriven stuck his head out the door and then laughed, rather than before going inside.
Mr Kelly said to Ms Canty: “It didn’t happen at all. This is the detail you’ve inserted into the action to make life as difficult as possible for Mr Scriven”. She denied this.
Mr Hill said he had an axe in his home, however, denied suggestions by Mr Kelly that he smashed Ms Caldwell’s and Scriven’s cars with it.
He denied suggestions by Mr Kelly he returned to his own property shortly after the incident, because he had armed himself before the fight and needed to dispose of his weapons.
The trial continues in Latrobe Valley Supreme Court.