News

Accused man’s mother gives evidence in murder trial

By Liz Mellino

The mother of a man who allegedly assaulted her former partner has recalled the moment she saw her son continually punch the victim prior to his death.

Rose Whybrow gave evidence yesterday in the Shepparton Supreme Court during the trial of her son, Trevor Whybrow, who is facing one charge of murder over the death of Barry James Moffatt in Mooroopna last year.

During yesterday's proceedings Ms Whybrow told the jury that she had been dating Mr Moffat until 2015 when their relationship ended; however, her and her son remained in a friendship group with him.

When asked by Mr Whybrow's defence counsel David Gibson to describe Mr Moffatt's personality, she explained there were "two" sides to him.

“If he had money and he was drinking, he could afford to drink and gamble, he was on top of the world; if he had nothing, he hibernated,” she explained.

Police at the scene of the assault in McKean St, Mooroopna.

Mr Gibson questioned Ms Whybrow about her son's nature, asking her if she had ever observed him be physically aggressive, to which she said no.

“Trevor's personality is very quiet until somebody gets on his back, then he'll have a few words, then he'll walk away,” she said.

When questioned about the night of the incident, Ms Whybrow said she saw her son "continual(lly) punching" Mr Moffatt to the face as he was lying on the floor of her lounge room.

She said Mr Moffatt was not speaking or moving at the time, and had his hands down on the floor.

“His eyes were shut when Trevor was hitting him but I knew he was still alive because I could hear him breathing ... (making) a gurgling sound,” Ms Whybrow said.

Barry Moffatt died following the assault in Mooroopna on May 27, 2018.

The court heard she questioned Mr Whybrow about what was going on and he told her that Mr Moffatt had tried to sexually assault him.

Ms Whybrow told the jury her son had carpal tunnel syndrome, describing her son's hand while punching Mr Moffatt as his "fingers bent over but not clenched".

Ms Whybrow said a short time after the alleged assault her son appeared upset, describing him as having his "head in his hands, choked up".

“Trevor was upset with himself, he had tears, he was choked up ... he'd realised what he had done and he regretted doing what he had done,” she said.

The trial continues today.