Dying woman was 'gasping', police officer tells murder trial

Bev Lacey

THE first police officer onto the scene of a suspected stabbing in Wilsonton Heights had found a heavily bleeding Caroline Widgell who had no pulse and wasn't breathing, Toowoomba Supreme Court has heard.

Senior Constable Natalie Brown told the court she had been called to 5 Seppelt St on the night of July 4, 2013, and found the 28-year-old woman slumped on the floor of the back patio.

She said there was a lot of blood coming from a wound.

"I could hear her gasping," she said, as she checked her for breathing and pulse.

After placing Ms Widgell in a better position, the police officers started CPR on the dying woman who was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Senior Constable Shannon Meibusch arrived at the scene just before 10pm.

He said he found a black handled steak knife with blood over the blade in the front yard.

Because there were so many people in the area it was not possible to keep the area clear so he bagged the knife in a clip seal bag and put it into the boot of his police car where it was photographed by a Scenes of Crime police officer.

Detective Senior Constable Alan Hartley told the court he and other police officers had door knocked the neighbourhood in search of suspected John Henry Brown.

He said they were searching Wine Drive Park when his police partner drew his attention to some movement in the dark.

"I saw a dark shadowy figure on the fence line," he said.

After calling for him to stop, John Henry Brown told police his name and he was cautioned and arrested for murder.

Brown, 33, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder arising from the death of his cousin Ms Widgell on the night of July 4, 2013.

Paul Waters told the court Brown had been living with him and his partner and others at 8 Lindeman Court not far from 5 Seppelt St.

He said he spoke with John Brown that afternoon when he arrived home from work on July 4, 2013, and Brown had appeared fine.

Later in the evening Brown had asked him for a cigarette and then said he was going for a walk.

He did not see Brown again that day, he said.

The trial before Justice Peter Lyons continues.

Topics:  court murder trial stabbing steak knife toowoomba

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