A man who allegedly murdered his roommate after arguing over internet access attacked him for “a number of hours” with a wheelie bin, a bicycle and a baseball bat, a court has heard.
Nikola Milosevic, 38, was charged with the murder of Danny Barber in 2019 after police allege he attacked the 52-year-old in the early hours of August 23 in the backyard. He has pleaded not guilty.
Milosevic fronted Adelaide Supreme Court on Wednesday for the first day of his trial, where the jury heard he used numerous items, including a wheelie bin and a blue baseball bat, as he bashed his roommate to death.
Mr Barber’s body was found with serious head and facial injuries, including a 6cm long laceration to his forehead and another gash to his left ear, at the Mooringe Ave share house in North Plympton.
He was pronounced dead about 3.50am by paramedics who responded to a triple-0 call.
Opening the crown case, prosecutor Carmen Matteo told jurors they would hear from a number of witnesses who allegedly saw the accused at different points of the night holding the various weapons in the backyard attacking the victim.
According to the prosecutor, the home occupants observed there was a “degree of tension” between the accused and the victim that stemmed from arguments over internet connection and a stolen motorbike.
She said some roommates recounted an alleged assault on the same day of Mr Barber’s death where he was seen at the property with a bloodied face, holding a bag of frozen peas over it.
“Danny Barber died as a result of the injuries inflicted upon him by the accused over a number of hours,” Ms Matteo said.
“The prosecution contends the accused is guilty of murder because at the time he was beating Mr Barber, the accused intended at the very least to cause him grievous bodily harm.”
Ms Matteo said witness Donovan Walker, who lived at the share house, would later tell the court he saw Milosevic use the baseball bat to strike Mr Barber at the back of the legs multiple times.
“He will tell you he saw the wheelie bin in his hands out in front of him and above the ground … (and) bring it down and strike it onto Danny Barber’s head.”
According to the prosecution’s case, Mr Barber’s blood stains were found by police at the bottom of the wheelie bin, on the bonnet of a white car parked at the property as well as on Milosevic’s yellow Puma jacket, Reebok shoes and blue tracksuit pants.
The court heard the accused called emergency services the night of the incident but repeatedly said he did not know what happened.
He told police during initial questioning that he did not return home until about 2am and found the victim lying in the backyard unresponsive when he went to have a cigarette.
Ms Matteo said in later questioning the accused spoke with another police officer who recorded the interview on video.
She said the jury would hear from that police officer, who would recount that conversation and claim that while the video recording was turned off, Milosevic allegedly said: “This is not for the camera. I’ve come home afraid, scared. I hit him. I didn’t mean to do it.”
When the officer allegedly asked if he wanted to repeat that on the record, Milosevic said no.
“The detective informed Mr Milosevic he was legally required to put the video camera back on and read back what he said to him,” Ms Matteo told the court.
“Mr Milosevic said, ‘I’ll say I didn’t say that.’”
Milosevic and Mr Barber where two of five housemates who lived at the property at the time of the incident.
The court heard the victim was often drunk and all roommates regularly used drugs.
At the time of his death, Mr Barber had a blood alcohol reading of 0.21 per cent, according to the prosecutor.
Milosevic’s blood sample, taken after the murder, showed he had Diazepam, methamphetamine and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in his system.
The trial continues.
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