'Primal, completely illogical' reaction as mate stabbed dead
PAUL Gathercole cared more about a dog than he did about his best friend, a prosecutor has told a murder trial.
But there was no evidence Mr Gathercole ever intended to kill Robbie Charles, defence counsel Robert East said on Friday.
Mr Charles, 32, was fatally wounded in February 2014 at the Mermaid Beach unit where both men lived.
On Monday, Mr Gathercole pleaded not guilty to murdering the former Coffs Harbour man, but guilty to manslaughter.
Jurors at Brisbane Supreme Court heard Mr Gathercole took Mr Charles's dog for a walk then returned to the unit.
Prosecutor Michael Lehane said neighbours then heard Mr Gathercole saying: "You kicked him in the head, you mongrel dog”.
Mr Gathercole stabbed his mate.
In his closing address on Friday, Mr Lehane said Mr Gathercole's reaction was "primal, completely illogical, but sadly ... borne out by the facts of the case.”
"At that moment the dog meant more to him” than Mr Charles did, the prosecutor said.
He said Mr Gathercole behaved in a "horrendous way” which was "wholly disproportionate to any provocation”.
Mr Lehane said a vet found no evidence of injury to the dog, an american staffordshire named Holden.
Mr East began his closing address on Friday.
He said the stabbing was "followed by shock and then sadness” from Mr Gathercole, who had no desire to kill his friend.
Mr East said "no direct evidence” existed that his client even intended to do grievous bodily harm to Mr Charles.
The men had been drinking throughout the afternoon, including at a darts club function.
He said it was possible Mr Gathercole experienced a drunken rage after Mr Charles either kicked or "kicked at” the dog.
If drunkenness caused doubt about Mr Gathercole's intentions that night, then he was not guilty of murder, Mr East added.
The trial continues on Monday. -NewsRegional