News

Man found guilty of stabbing manslaughter of cousin

BREAKING: John Henry Brown, 33, has been found not guilty of murder but guilty of the manslaughter of his cousin Caroline Widgell, 28, in Toowoomba in July 2013.

Brown will be sentenced tomorrow morning.

EARLIER: Murder accused John Henry Brown's defence counsel has invited the jury in his murder trial to return a verdict of manslaughter.

 Brown, 33, has pleaded not guilty to murder arising from the death of his cousin Caroline Widgell, 28, who was stabbed in the chest at a Seppelt St address in Wilsonton Heights just after 9pm, July 4, 2013.  

In his closing address today, defence barrister Robbie Davies told the jury it was not in dispute that his client had caused Ms Widgell's wound.  

What was at issue was whether he intended to kill his cousin.  

Mr Davies said if there was any rational hypothesis consistent with innocence, the jury must acquit his client of murder.  

"What he is guilty of, ladies and gentlemen, is manslaughter," Mr Davies submitted to the jury.  

Crown prosecutor Mark Whitbread argued that by the evidence put before the trial John Brown had intended to kill Ms Widgell or at least cause her grievous bodily harm.  

Brown had been staying nearby at a Lindemann Crt home of his cousin and had arrived on foot at the Seppelt St residence and went straight to the back yard where Ms Widgell and others were gathered.  

After calling her away to the front yard where the pair was alone, he had stabbed her "one quick and sudden blow to the chest", Mr Whitbread said, submitted what other intention had he had but death.  

Ms Widgell had turned away and walked back to the house, telling her cousin, "John stabbed me, Cuz".  

At the close of the Crown case this morning, Mr Davies made a defence admission that a steak knife found in the front yard soon after the incident had blood on its blade that was DNA matched to Ms Widgell.  

Mr Whitbread submitted similar steak knives were found in the kitchen drawer at Lindemann Crt where Brown had been staying, suggesting he had taken the knife to the Seppelt St address, also suggesting intent.  

Brown had left the scene after the incident and was found later that night in Wine Drive Park not far away, he said.

 When challenged by police, Brown had immediately fallen to his knees and put his hands behind his head, telling police "Just put me in jail", Mr Whitbread submitted.  

During a subsequent police interview, Brown had told a detective "I killed my cousin, does that mean anything", he said.  

Forensic pathologist Dr Nathan Milne who conducted the autopsy told the court Ms Widgell had a wound 4.3cm left of the middle of the chest which was 16mm in length by 7mm in width.  

He estimated the depth of the stabbing wound to be about 7cm between the third and forth rib.  

He estimated the degree of force to cause such a wound to be "as little as mild".  

The jury will retire to consider a verdict after summing up of the case by Justice Peter Lyons.  

EARLIER: A jury charged with determining whether a Wilsonton Heights man murdered his cousin more than three years ago is expected to begin verdict deliberations this afternoon.

The Crown has closed its case against John Henry Brown who has pleaded not guilty to murdering his cousin, Caroline Widgell, in Wilsonton Heights in 2013.

The jury will hear closing addresses from the Crown and Brown's defence counsel which were expected to begin about 11.30am.

The jury is expected to retire to consider its verdict this afternoon.

The trial, before Justice Peter Lyons, began on Monday.

Topics:  court editors picks murder toowoomba toowoomba court


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Visitor cap may not fit all in Noosa says business leader

CAP RESPONSE: Steven Boyd, left, is accustomed to wearing a red and yellow cap in Noosa, not seeing one applied to day trippers.

Noosa CCIQ head has say on visitor limitations

Search for mystery stingray whisperer

PHOTOGRAPHER'S QUEST: Annie Owens would like to find the girl in this picture who called in a whipray.

Young girl amazes crowd by calling in a stingray for a pat

Council has taste for brewery bids

SOMETHING BREWING: The proposed new Rene St brewery complete with tourist tasting area.

Brewery is good for tourist business

Local Partners

Just horsing around

The Noosa Australia Day has plenty to offer for the whole family

REVEALED: Next pro sport to make Coast home

UNITED PRO WRESTLING: KrackerJak will pull out his moves this weekend at Pub Mooloolaba.

The question is: is it really a sport or is it theatre?

Buderim East Probus Club boasts a proud history

Probus Club of Buderim East president Kenn Rogers and outgoing president Max Fenn at the club's 25th anniversary lunch.

Buderim East Probus Club has produced a book on its history

Join the chorus of praise for Buderim Male Choir

WARMING UP: The Buderim Male Choir.

THE Buderim Male Choir is about to start a new program for 2017

Kristen Stewart to host SNL

Kristen Stewart will host a pre-Super Bowl episode of SNL next month

Louis Tomlinson celebrated his son's first birthday

Louis Tomlinson and Briana Jungwirth celebrate son's first birthday

Kylie Minogue will take husband's name

Kylie Minogue will take her fiancé Joshua Sasse's surname

Nicole reveals her biggest parenting challenges

Actress Nicole Kidman.

Nicole Kidman says her kids are ‘deeply attuned' to her moods.

REVEALED: Next pro sport to make Coast home

UNITED PRO WRESTLING: KrackerJak will pull out his moves this weekend at Pub Mooloolaba.

The question is: is it really a sport or is it theatre?

Suicide Squad director reveals his regrets about the film

Margot Robbie in a scene from the movie Suicide Squad.

DIRECTOR of superhero flick on what he’d change about ‘flawed’ film.

Sand mine fight to fire up again this week

Aerial view of the proposed Forest Glen sand mine.

Public meeting set down for Wednesday night

Stockland's $150m pitch: Build it and they will come

Gladstone Marina. The Gladstone Regional Council offers a range of exciting job opportunities. Photo Contributed: Murray Ware.

Here's why we need to see Stockland upgrade start soon.

How investors are cashing in on Sunshine Coast property

Core Logic property statistics shows Sunshine Coast unit prices dipped 3.1% in the three months to September 31 while Noosa's prices dropped 13.5% in the same period.

Sunshine Coast unit prices dip 3.1% while Noosa units drop13.5%

Real estate hot property: Coast suburbs to watch

Core Logic property statistics reveal the region's median house price dropped 1% to $515,000 in the September quarter.

Region's median house price falls 1% to $515,000 in Sept. quarter

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!