July 03, 2019 17:21:18
Two teenagers accused of killing a man in north-east Victoria admitted they “bashed” the victim because he had been offering to pay one of their girlfriends for sex, a court has heard.
But the teens have denied responsibility for the death of the man, who was run over by an unsuspecting driver after allegedly being left “incapacitated in the middle of the road” after the assault.
- Sarwar Yaqubi was run over and killed in Shepparton, in July 2018
- Two teenage boys, aged 16 and 18 at the time, faced court on manslaughter charges
- They were arrested after being tracked to the north-east Victorian town of Bright
The two teenage boys are facing charges of manslaughter, attempted robbery and theft of a motor vehicle, linked to the death of Sarwar Yaqubi in Shepparton, in July 2018.
A Supreme Court trial heard today that the teenagers allegedly attempted to rob and then bashed the man, before leaving him in the middle of a residential street, where he was run over by an unsuspecting driver.
The court heard Mr Yaqubi had been messaging the 17 year-old girlfriend of one of the teens to organise sex in exchange for money.
Victim died from severe abdomen and chest injuries
Mr Yaqubi, a Pakistani national and forklift driver at a Shepparton fruit packing business, travelled to Poplar Avenue on the evening of July 27, under the pretence of meeting the girl.
He had a short discussion with her before the boys, aged 16 and 18 at the time, confronted him and, the prosecution alleged, left him ‘incapacitated’ in the middle of the road.
The court was told the trio then stole the victim’s car and fled, at the same time a car ran over Mr Yaqubi.
The driver of the car later told police she had been distracted by three people ‘rushing from the scene’, causing her to drive her car over the man.
A forensic examination found Mr Yaqubi died from severe injuries to his abdomen and chest, and suffered a fractured femur and bruising to his face and head.
Friend alerted teens to death
The court heard the cousin of one of the boys travelled to the crime scene when she heard it about it on a police scanner, but did not immediately realise her cousin was involved.
She later called the teenager to tell him a man had been found dead on Poplar Avenue.
A recording of the phone call was handed into police.
In the recording, played in court, the accused told the witness Mr Yaqubi had been sending “dirty messages”.
“He was texting my girlfriend saying ‘meet up and have sex’ and shit,” he said.
“So we went along with it and we met up with him and I bashed him, bro. Me and my mate bashed him, and then someone in another car ran over him.”
Police tracked the three teenagers to the north-east Victorian town of Bright three days later, where they were arrested.
The girl was released on bail and will face a hearing in the Children’s Court this month.
Lawyer says teens ‘did not kill’ Yaqubi
The Supreme Court hearing for the two male offenders will hear from witnesses including first responders, police, friends and forensic experts.
Crown prosecutor Daryl Brown alleged the actions of the teens led to the death of Mr Yaqubi.
“By placing him in a position of danger, they owed him that duty of care,” Mr Brown said.
“It’s alleged [they] breached that duty of care by exposing the deceased to a high risk of death or serious injury, by leaving him incapacitated in the middle of the road.”
Defence lawyer Marcus Dempsey told the jury he did not believe the teenagers specifically caused the death.
“There are contentious facts we don’t agree on — there is no concession that the deceased was incapacitated,” Mr Dempsey said.
“Part of your assessment will involve the examination of the road, the lighting, the distance the driver must have travelled and her speed and level of attention.
“This is an exercise of intellect, of clinical examination of facts, rather than sympathies.
“It’s premature to argue why [the driver] should be acquitted — that will come much later on in the trial.”
Defence solicitor Jennifer Clark asked the jury to have an open mind.
“[The accused] was 16 at the time of the incident — you’ll be asked to think about what a reasonable person in the position of the accused would’ve realised,” Ms Clark said.
“It’s important that you keep in mind that he was 16.”
The trial will conclude next week.
July 03, 2019 15:54:05