News

Teen admits assault

By Ashlea Witoslawski

A teenager charged with manslaughter over the death of a man in Shepparton last year admitted assaulting the man but said he ‘‘never hurt (him) that bad’’, a Supreme Court trial has heard.

The video of an hour-long police interview with Dyllon Michael Kilpatrick, 18, after his arrest was played to a jury yesterday.

Victoria Police Homicide Squad Detective Senior Constable Mathew Argentino was called to the witness stand before the jury watched Mr Kilpatrick’s record of interview.

In the interview conducted by Sen Const Argentino and Detective Senior Constable Victor Anastasiadis, Mr Kilpatrick said Mr Yaqubi was unknown to him and that the man had yelled out from his car to him and two others as they walked near shops in Poplar Ave on the night of July 27.

Mr Kilpatrick told the officers an altercation ensued and that he punched the man in the jaw.

‘‘I thought (Mr Yaqubi) was going to try and hit me ... so I hit him first,’’ he said.

Mr Kilpatrick said the boy he was in company with also hit and kicked the man, before Mr Kilpatrick told the boy to stop.

‘‘I got real scared and I ran off,’’ Mr Kilpatrick said. ‘‘It’s a bit blurry at the end because I was panicking.’’

Mr Kilpatrick told the officers he learned the man had died when he saw a post about it on the Crime Watch Victoria Facebook page the next day.

In the interview, police told him that CCTV footage taken from inside a Poplar Ave shop had painted a different picture to what Mr Kilpatrick had said about the circumstances.

He then told the officers that his girlfriend was also at the scene, but was not involved in the assault.

When further questioned, Mr Kilpatrick said he and the boy had got in the back seat of Mr Yaqubi’s car with a plan to take his money, but the plan was disturbed when the man got out of the car. ‘‘I hit him yes, but I never hurt that person that bad, I swear to God,’’ Mr Kilpatrick said.

During the interview, Mr Kilpatrick sobbed, telling the officers he was scared and did not want to get in any trouble.

Police asked Mr Kilpatrick what state Mr Yaqubi was in when he left the scene.

‘‘He was on the ground. I looked back and I seen him sitting up. I looked back forward and kept running. I didn’t look back after that,’’ Mr Kilpatrick said.

The jury was then shown a police interview with the boy, in which he told the officers that the group was aware Mr Yaqubi had been sending messages to the girl asking for sexual favours in exchange for money.

‘‘The plan was just to stop him from doing it,’’ the boy said.

In the interview, the boy said the meeting did not go to plan, ending in a fight outside the car.

The boy said the girl left the scene in Mr Yaqubi’s car, and that he and Mr Kilpatrick had also left and were both driving separate cars.

The boy said the three cars were later parked at a property in Mooroopna, which was the home of Mr Kilpatrick’s aunt.

The boy said he found out about the man’s death on Facebook the morning after their encounter with Mr Yaqubi and that a decision was made to ‘‘take off away from Shepparton’’ in the victim’s car.

The three were arrested at Harrietville on July 30.

Mr Kilpatrick’s defence counsel Marcus Dempsey cross-examined Sen Const Argentino, questioning the officer’s interview techniques, including not mentioning the charge of manslaughter until near the end of Mr Kilpatrick’s interview.

‘‘At the time that you interviewed, you could have said, ‘I want to interview with respect to the charge of manslaughter’,’’ Mr Dempsey said.

Mr Dempsey also suggested that Mr Kilpatrick should have been shown the CCTV footage at the police station during the interview process.

The trial continues on Monday.