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Accused Rocky murderer: 'I couldn't take it anymore... I snapped'

Emergency services crews at the scene of a multiple stabbing in Alma St, Rockhampton
Emergency services crews at the scene of a multiple stabbing in Alma St, Rockhampton Kerri-Anne Mesner

AN ACCUSED murderer told police he feared he would be killed in his sleep the night before he "snapped" and stabbed two men, killing one.

Sebastiano Garofalo claimed from "day one" living in a Rockhampton men's homeless shelter, he felt threatened by homicide victim Aaron Flenady and stab victim George Swadling.

This evidence emerged during day three of Garofalo's murder and attempted murder trial in the Supreme Court in Rockhampton this morning.

TRIAL DAY ONE | Accused Rocky murderer: 'I hope the dog dies'

TRIAL DAY TWO | Court hears Rocky stab victim saw his breakfast spill from wounds

The court was shown a video of the police interview the morning of the September 15, 2015 attack, during which a shirtless Garofalo made admissions to stabbing both men.

During the more-than-hour-long interview, Garofalo told investigator Detective Sergeant Michael Logan both Mr Swadling and Mr Flenady had scared and threatened him in the weeks and days ahead of the attack.

He claimed Mr Swadling had played with a fishing knife, the alleged murder weapon, a number of times in front of him including on September 14.

Garofalo told police that morning, September 15, he "couldn't handle it anymore".

He said he picked up the knife and made comments to Mr Swadling on how sharp it was before he "joked" and "pretended to scare him"; lunging at him twice with the knife outstretched.

"After that I went towards him and got him a couple of times," Garofalo told police.

This element of Garofalo's account matched evidence given by Mr Swadling during trial day two.

When asked why he stabbed him on the third lunge, Garofalo said he thought if he put the knife back down Mr Swadling would grab it and stab him.

He then allegedly stabbed Mr Swadling a number of times, before he walked back outside to the courtyard where Mr Flenady was standing.

"Then I stabbed Aaron," he said during the police interview.

Det Sgt Logan asked whether Mr Flenady had said or done anything immediately after Mr Swadling was stabbed, and before he was attacked, to which Garofalo responded "no".

"Yesterday he was punching his fist, he sat next to me, and with his fist punched his hand about four to five times and saying, 'there's 10 of them and one of me'," Garofalo said, referring to other residents.

"And he was just making friends with all of them just so he could scare me."

The court heard Garofalo dropped the knife as soon as police arrived on scene at Oznam House, but he held onto it until then as it made him feel "safe from everyone else that was there from what had happened".

He told police of an exchange with a staff member, John Edwards, who gave evidence on trial day one, in which he said "I shouldn't be exposed to this kind of stuff" in reference to "weapons lying around".

The court had previously heard knives, and anything considered a weapon, were prohibited at the facility.

Mr Garofalo went on to tell of always feeling scared and intimidated, and insecure in his living conditions.

"There's people there that inject drugs, and I don't know if they were going to inject me with drugs," he said during the interview.

"There's no locks, no safety or protection," he said, having explained earlier their dorms had concertina-style dividers.

"For the last couple of weeks I have just been scared every night, I just couldn't handle it today (September 15).

"I have no where to live, I'm homeless like everyone there.

"I'm not sleeping at night, I try mind my own business and he's (Swadling) doing all this stuff to me.

"I thought, 'that's it I will teach you a few manners, that way you don't pick on someone who minds their own business'.

"By doing this he can learn maybe I shouldn't pick on people who mind their own business, because something like this can happen."

Garofalo went on to say he "doesn't break the law", not so much as throwing a cigarette on the ground or littering.

"I don't threaten anyone... and this morning after not sleeping for the last few days I just couldn't handle it, I just snapped or something, I don't know.

"I couldn't handle (Swadling) waving the knife again today, all night not knowing if I was going to wake up.

"At least this way he has been hospitalised and he can realise he cannot be threatening to anyone."

At the time of both interviews Mr Flenady had not yet died of his injuries.

The trial continues.

Topics:  alleged murder attempted murder crime editors picks murder trial stabbing supreme court



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