Daniel Fing shooting trial jury to begin deliberations

BELMONT North man Daniel Fing was either shot by rival Matthew Edwards, by someone else unknown or he shot himself to frame Mr Edwards, a jury heard yesterday.

The jury will begin its deliberations today after hearing closing arguments from Crown prosecutor Max Pincott and defence barrister Paul Marr.

Mr Edwards, of Morgan Street, Merewether, previously pleaded not guilty in Newcastle District Court to causing grievous bodily harm with intent to murder.

Mr Pincott said Mr Edwards had the motive to shoot Mr Fing in the early hours of February 25, 2011, and there was no other evidence ‘‘that anyone else had it in for Mr Fing’’.

Mr Fing had previously taken out an apprehended violence order against Mr Edwards, the court heard.

Mr Pincott said police pursued Mr Edwards to Bershire Avenue after he was seen driving past his Morgan Street home and that Mr Edwards was seen to get out of the car and open the boot to let his girlfriend Tugba Zabun out.

He said a witness who saw the arrest told a triple-0 operator that she heard Mr Edwards tell Ms Zabun to ‘‘take the bag and go’’.

Mr Pincott suggested that the bag contained the gun. Neither was found.

When addressing whether someone else might have shot Mr Fing, Mr Pincott said Mr Fing was asked whether he owed anyone money for drugs and he said he didn’t.

When addressing the question of whether Mr Fing shot himself, Mr Pincott said there was evidence such as the triple-0 call Mr Fing made and the evidence of a friend who was in the Belmont North home at the time of the shooting that supported Mr Fing’s evidence.

Mr Marr said a series of text messages Mr Fing sent Ms Zabun in the hours before the shooting and while he was being taken to hospital pointed to some agreement or plot.

He said Mr Fing gave inconsistent evidence about whether he saw the face of the shooter or not, while the friend who testified that he wrote down the number plate of Mr Edwards’s car as it allegedly left the scene was never able to find the piece of paper.

In his interview with police, Mr Edwards said he was at home on his computer on the night of February 24 and 25 and that his computer records supported that, Mr Marr said.

Mr Edwards told police that after Ms Zabun received a text message from Mr Fing they got out of the house and drove to a park to keep an eye on the home because they feared Mr Fing was on his way.

Ms Zabun gave a similar version of events to police without having any contact with Mr Edwards after his arrest, Mr Marr said.