A woman has told a court how she saw her partner fatally stabbed multiple times in the backyard of a Casterton home.
Janelle Lovell yesterday gave evidence at a committal hearing in Warrnambool Magistrates Court into a double murder and an attempted murder in October last year.
Aaron Jamie Ball, 32, of Russells Street, Casterton, has been charged with the stabbing deaths of Casterton’s Raymond McCombe and Warrnambool’s Toby Lynch and the attempted murder of Casterton’s Stephen Mark.
Magistrate Stephen Myall heard that the house where Mr Ball lived on Miller Street, Casterton, was often referred to as “the Loonies”.
The court heard evidence from Jessica O’Neill, who was at the McCombe house at the time of the murders on October 4, 2011. Ms O’Neill was in a relationship with Mr Lynch and said Jessie McCombe, Mr McCombe’s daughter, had gone onto Miller Street and was arguing with Mr Ball after he had said something about her deceased mother.
She said Mr McCombe, Mr Lynch and Mr Mark went after Miss McCombe. She said Miss McCombe had told her the “loonie”, referring to Mr Ball, appeared to have a gun.
“I felt pretty scared, I didn’t know these people and I didn’t know what they were capable of,” Ms O’Neill said.
Ms Lovell she was in the house when she heard Miss McCombe screaming that her dad had been stabbed.
Ms Lovell was the partner of Mr McCombe and told the court her family had had trouble with Mr Ball and his family.
She said another of Mr McCombe’s daughters, Laura, told her that Mr Ball and his mother Dianne Hutchins were yelling at Jessie McCombe.
Ms Lovell went over to the house because she said they would usually stop yelling once she got there.
She said she was telling Mr Ball to leave the kids alone and was standing near a car in the driveway when Ms Hutchins got in the car.
She then stood at the car door, with Ms Hutchins yelling at her that she couldn’t prove anything.
Ms Lovell said she thought Mr McCombe was still in the driveway when in the backyard she saw Mr Mark and Mr Ball taking swings at each other, with Mr Lynch nearby.
She said she later also saw Mr McCombe in the backyard when Ms Hutchins drove the car at him, causing him to stagger but which did not knock him over.
Mr Ball was then right behind Mr McCombe, she said.
“Ray didn’t touch him. Ray looked at me after Aaron’s mum ran him over in the car. Aaron stabbed him straight away. Ray didn’t have a chance to do anything.”
Forensic pathologist Matthew Lynch said Mr McCombe’s death was caused by multiple stab wounds to the head, chest and abdomen. He said Mr Lynch’s death was a result of complications from stab wounds.
In his early evidence, Mr Mark said he’d had three VB cans on the night.
He said Mr McCombe was also drinking but he didn’t appear intoxicated.
Mr Mark said earlier that night he told police he’d seen Mr Ball on the verandah of his house with what looked like a rifle.
He said he went over to Mr Ball’s house to get Jessie McCombe and told her she couldn’t go onto other people’s property and yell at them.
Mr Mark is expected to continue