13 Jun 2012

Accused a good marksman, Scott Guy trial told

8:52 am on 13 June 2012

The brother of slain Feilding farmer Scott Guy has told a jury the man accused of the shooting was a good marksman.

Ewen Macdonald is on trial at the High Court in Wellington charged with the murder of his 31-year-old brother-in-law at his Feilding farm on 8 July 2010.

The Crown says Mr Macdonald, 32, was concerned about inequalities he perceived in the amount of work he and Scott Guy had to do around the farm and tension arising from that led to the killing.

However, the defence says while Mr Macdonald acknowledged that he had damaged property belonging to Scott Guy and his wife Kylee, that did not make him a murderer.

On Tuesday, Callum Guy told the court he met Ewen Macdonald when he was about 10 or 11 years old when the accused began dating his sister Anna, whom he later married.

Mr Guy said when he returned to work on the farm in September 2008, Mr Macdonald was in charge of the dairy operation and his brother took care of the dry stock and cropping.

He told the court there were tensions over rostering and staffing on the farm, and believed Scott Guy also had issues with the farm shareholding.

"I don't think he was happy with Ewen having shares in the farm. I think that he probably felt Ewen was trying to take over the farm, whereas I think Scott wanted it more to be between him and my father."

Callum Guy said he often went possum shooting with the accused and generally they used the farm guns, but sometimes Mr Macdonald would bring his own firearms.

He said those who had access to guns on the farm were his father, Scott Guy, Mr Macdonald and assistant farm manager Simon Asplin.

Callum Guy told the jury that Mr Macdonald laughed while telling him investigators had asked if he knew who killed Mr Guy and said police were hopeless and had no idea.

Mother tells of rivalry

Evidence was also heard from Scott Guy's mother, who spoke of rivalries between her son and son-in-law.

Joanne Guy said that she and her husband Bryan saw a need to have clearly defined roles and responsibilities for Mr Macdonald and their son.

Mrs Guy said she was shocked when Scott told a family meeting that he should inherit the farm. She said both she and her husband said that wasn't going to happen, because things don't work like that these days.

The court was told that, at another meeting, Scott Guy read out a letter which upset Anna Macdonald because it criticised the accused.

Mrs Guy said later during a family celebration, Ewen and Anna Macdonald arrived late because they had been working on the farm. Mr Macdonald accused Scott Guy of not pulling his weight.

She said Scott Guy was also unhappy when the Macdonalds moved into the old family homestead.

Sister says couple felt terrorised

Also giving evidence was Nikki Guy, who told the court that her that her brother and sister-in-law felt "terrorised" by vandalism and graffiti left on their new home.

Ms Guy said she noticed rivalries between Scott Guy and Ewen Macdonald when her brother returned home because the property wasn't big enough for both to have equal roles on the farm.

She said Scott and Kylee Guy were very upset when their new house was damaged.

"I know that Kylee was having second thoughts about moving into the house and was afraid to be there ... and Scott was very upset and I'd describe it as being on the warpath and wanting to catch the person that did it."

Nikki Guy said Scott asked their brother and another farm worker to spend the night at the house in case whoever committed the vandalism returned.

Accused said killer should get death penalty, court told

A farm hand told the court that Ewen Macdonald said the killer of Scott Guy deserved the death penalty.

Farmhand BJ Worthington gave evidence on Monday that, before his arrest, Mr Macdonald told him authorities should bring back the death penalty because a life for a life seemed fair.

Assistant farm manager Simon Asplin said the accused would get annoyed at Scott Guy for being disorganised and had talked about his poor work ethic.