Witness describes violence and panic

A WITNESS to the death of Rogan Philip Matthews in January last year described a scene of violence and panic during the first day of a committal hearing at Gladstone Magistrates Court yesterday.

Agnes Water's Robert William Budd, 57 at the time, has been ac- cused of murdering Matthews and also faces one charge each of enter- ing a dwelling to commit an of- fence, threatening violence, unlaw- ful use of a motor vehicle, possessing a weapon and breaching bail. Shane Stockwell, 30, a witness on the night of the alleged murder, gave evidence that he saw the inci- dent started with a fight, allegedly involving a knife, at the victim's shed on January 14, 2005.

The court heard Budd, Mat- thews, Stockwell and another man were watching a movie at Mat- thew's Avocado Drive home, a shed decorated with Nazi emblems and white supremacist logos.

Stockwell claimed he was woken to the sounds of Matthews and Budd fighting.

'Rob (Budd) had Rogan (Mat- thews) on his back,' Stockwell alleged.

"He (Budd) was trying to bring a knife down on him.' Budd was wrestled off Matthews and Matthews then gave Budd 'a fair touch-up', according to Stockwell.

The three men, except Stockwell, then followed Budd out and Stock- well claims he heard a gunshot in the next two minutes.

'I loaded my gun and went out the back of the shed,' Stockwell said.

'I fired a few shots over the car (then) ran back inside and tried to stop the bleeding.

'(The other man) was balling saying 'Don't die'.

Stockwell claimed he and the other man drove Matthews down the road to a friend's place where they called the ambulance and tried to revive Matthews.

'When you tried to do mouth to mouth, all the blood kept coming up,' Stockwell said.

'He was drowning in it.'

Defence solicitor Michael McMil- lan pointed out Stockwell didn't mention his gun when his first statement was taken but Stockwell claimed he omitted this because he was concerned about being an unli- censed gun holder.

Mr McMillan also highlighted Stockwell's criminal history which included at least six previous offences over several years.

Mr McMillan suggested Stockwell went through the shed, not outside as Stockwell claimed, and discharged his gun first.

The defence solicitor also questioned Stockwell on Budd's possible motivation for being at Matthews' home and whether it had been to reclaim cars.

Two other witnesses were called yesterday and the matter was adjourned until 9.30am today when cross-examination of Stockwell will continue.

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