News

Murder trial: aunt concerned about man visiting the area

A COURT has heard the aunt of man who police allege was murdered at Maryborough's Carlton Hotel was concerned about him visiting the area.

Maryborough man Simeon Blair is accused of murdering Townsville man Cleveland Clay with a piece of wood in 2012.

More than 20 witnesses have already appeared before Maryborough Supreme Court in the past week, with five more to be called by the Crown when the trial resumes on Monday.

Blair has pleaded not guilty to the alleged attack.

Mr Clay's aunt, Elizabeth Clay, was the last witness to appear for the Crown on Thursday.

The Townsville woman spoke about her nephew's issues with mental health after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and agreed she had been concerned about his visit to Maryborough.

The court heard Mrs Clay already knew Blair through her niece, who was in a relationship with Blair for some time and has several children with him.

It was Ms Clay who phoned Maryborough police officers and told them she believed Blair had been involved in the alleged attack on her 31-year-old nephew.

She phoned Blair twice on the day of the alleged attack on April 28, 2012, including one phone call recorded by police officers at Palm Island.

A recording of the phone call was tendered as evidence.

During the call, Blair admitted to getting into a fight with Cleveland Clay in the early hours of the morning.

Ms Clay could be heard urging Blair to tell his partner, Ms Clay's niece, to go to the hospital because she did not want Mr Clay to die with no one around.

"He's basically already gone," Ms Clay told Blair.

"He's brain dead."

Blair was arrested by Maryborough police officers less than an hour after the phone call.

Ms Clay agreed with suggestions from defence lawyer Catherine Morgan that in her first phone call to Blair, Ms Clay called him a dog, swore at him and threatened to come down to Maryborough "with all her boys".

The trial will continue in Maryborough Supreme Court, with several witnesses still to appear.

Topics:  carlton hotel maryborough maryborough supreme court murder trial simeon frederick blair



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