Groom-to-be allegedly stabbed brother to death, court hears

A WHITE wedding dress was used to mop up the blood of a man allegedly stabbed to death by his groom-to-be brother after a drunken argument erupted when one described their dying mother as a "stunned mullet", a court heard.

Sally Anne Doring, 57, a nursing home chef, from Buderim and fiancee of Bernard John Robbins, 58, a former chef and masseur, told police that she found her white dress soaked with the blood of Bernard's older brother on the floor of her garage, after she was allowed back into her Buderim home following the stabbing on June 12 last year.

Bernard Robbins has been charged with murdering his brother Gregory Kenneth Robbins, 57, from Balcatta, WA, in the garage of his townhouse following a family dinner to welcome Gregory who was visiting for Bernard's wedding three days later.

Details of how Gregory was stabbed seven times - including four times in the chest, penetrating his heart, lung and diaphragm - were contained in police witness statements filed during an unsuccessful bail application in the Supreme Court last month.

Two of the stab wounds were "with such severe force" that they penetrated his ribs, according to his autopsy report.

Greg Robbins was stabbed to death after an argument with his brother at a Buderim property. File picture
Greg Robbins was stabbed to death after an argument with his brother at a Buderim property. File picture

Witness statements tendered to the curt revealed Bernard's daughter Annie Robbins told police she believed her dad was offended by Gregory describing their late mum lying in bed when she was in palliative care as looking a "like a stunned mullet".

"I could see that Greg's comment about my nan made my dad really angry and dad said 'That's f---ed, don't speak about mum like that".

Annie Robbins also told police that her dad was "really stressed about the wedding".

Bernard told the court he wanted to be released on bail to avoid catching coronavirus in Arthur Gorrie prison, to receive treatment for lymphoma and marry Ms Doring, whom he met two years earlier through online dating.

Their wedding was set to be held in a park in Mooloolaba on June 15, and they were due to take a honeymoon days later.

Bernard told the court in his affidavit that he is not guilty of murder.

"I was defending myself, as I believed my brother was going to kill me during our fight".

"I cannot believe that my brother died at my hands. I feel shattered that I have lost my brother"

Ms Doring told police in her witness statement that Bernard and Gregory had a drunken argument after dinner over why Gregory was estranged from his daughter and resentments over how often Gregory visited their mother when she was in palliative care in Victoria until she died in April last year.

Bernard was his mother's carer until she died, witnesses told police.

Gregory's partner Karen Vanden Drieson, a childcare worker from Perth, who was also at the family dinner told police she believed Bernard became "like a man possessed" shortly before the stabbing after Ms Doring threatened to call off their wedding if he didn't calm down.

"If you're going to be like this, there won't be any wedding on Saturday and I won't marry you," Ms Vanden Drieson alleges Ms Doring said.


The Buderim townhouse where Bernard Robbins lived with Sally Doring, and where Gregory Robbins was fatally stabbed on June 12, 2019.
The Buderim townhouse where Bernard Robbins lived with Sally Doring, and where Gregory Robbins was fatally stabbed on June 12, 2019.


According to court documents Ms Vanden Drieson said she didn't see Bernard stab Gregory but she saw them rolling around on the garage floor and punching each other as they were trying to leave the townhouse at about 9.50pm, when Bernard told them to go.

She told police that before the fight broke out she thought she saw Bernard wearing a belt with a knife attached to it, and after the fight she picked up two knives from the floor and took them inside the house.

When Ms Vanden Driesen returned to the garage she realised Gregory had been stabbed when she saw his shirt was covered in blood and became hysterical, according to court documents.

Police will allege she screamed "Please God don't die" and "You're killing him" to Bernard.

Ms Doring said she didn't see the stabbing because she was in the kitchen, and she denied Bernard was wearing a knife attached to a belt, the court heard.

A neighbour, a former Army medic, gave Gregory first aid and ambulance officers rushed Gregory to hospital where he died on the operating table at 2am.

Police allege Bernard told a detective he had stabbed his brother shortly after the incident, as he sat in a police car with the officer.

Police allege the murder weapon was a small paring knife from the kitchen.

Bernard was breath tested and blew 0.161 and Gregory's blood alcohol was measured as 0.217, according to court documents.

Originally published as The comment that sparked brothers' deadly fight