Accused blame each other for transvestite's murder

Two men are blaming each other over the murder of a transvestite cannabis dealer who was bashed to death in his Upper Hutt home last year.

David Shaun Galloway, 20, and Phillip Christopher Sanders, 42, pleaded not guilty to the murder of Richard Milton Jones, 64, when they appeared in the High Court at Wellington today.

Lawyers for each accused told the jury the other man was responsible for the fatal blows.

Mr Jones, who wore women's clothing and was known as Dixie, died from head injuries after he was assaulted in his Totara Park Rd flat on April 29 last year.

He suffered a fractured skull, multiple fractures to his ribs, internal injuries and bruising to his face, arms, legs and chest.

Crown prosecutor Simon Barr said the injuries were consistent with sustained hitting, stomping and kicking about the body and head.

Sanders had known Mr Jones for some time and had visited his home a number of times, while his friend Galloway had visited the home on at least one occasion.

Sanders and Mr Jones had fallen out in the months before the death, after Mr Jones complained to Sanders' probation officer that he had been selling his prescription medicine, which led to Sanders' prescription being reduced by his doctor.

Mr Barr said Sanders was upset and angry on the afternoon of Mr Jones' death, which was also Sanders' birthday, because he had struggled to get a prescription filled at a pharmacy.

He and Galloway drank a bottle of bourbon in an Upper Hutt park before Sanders went to Mr Jones' flat about 3pm. Galloway entered the flat a short time later.

A neighbour heard yelling and banging coming from the flat and told another neighbour to call police.

Police arrived to find Sanders and Galloway in an agitated state, as though they had been exerting themselves.

Mr Jones was "broken and motionless and lying on the floor", Mr Barr said.

His blood was spattered on the walls of his bedroom, and was also found on the clothes and shoes worn by Sanders and Galloway.

The men "in essence blamed each other" in interviews with police, Mr Barr said.

Sanders told police Mr Jones had come at him with a knife, accusing him of theft. He said he hit Mr Jones in the head, but denied further involvement.

Galloway told police he had gone to the flat to "bash" a transvestite.

He described Mr Jones as an elderly man "that dresses up as a ******* chick", adding he did not like "that kind of thing".

"I believe in Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve," he told police. "It needs to learn a ******* lesson."

Galloway later altered his claim, saying he had gone to Mr Jones' house to buy a cannabis tinnie.

Mr Barr told the jury both men had laid blows and encouraged each other in the attack.

Sanders' lawyer, Paul Paino, said his client had gone to the house to buy drugs and had no intention to harm, let alone kill, Mr Jones.

Sanders had no problem with Mr Jones' sexuality, and had not encouraged the assault.

Mr Paino said Galloway repeatedly assaulted Mr Jones in a "frenzied attack" in which he struck him with a television set, he said.

"Galloway went in and for some reason he lost it," he said.

Galloway's lawyer, Robert Stevens, said his client did not kill Mr Jones.

He said Sanders had the motive for the killing and "did it without any encouragement".

The trial, before Justice Robert Dobson, is set down for four weeks and will hear from more than 70 witnesses.



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