JUSTIN Fuller, the man accused of using two knives to stab his sister’s partner to death at Belmont South in December, after the alleged victim had twice deliberately reversed his four-wheel-drive into another car, has applied for bail, claiming he was acting in self-defence.
But Magistrate Sharron Crews quickly shot down Mr Fuller's bail application in Belmont Local Court on Wednesday, pointing out that the 32-year-old is accused of leaving the scene of the crash to retrieve the two weapons, which he then used to stab his sister’s partner, 50-year-old Guy Hamilton McCulloch, three times in the chest, abdomen and right forearm.
"The vehicle in which Mr McCulloch was in reversed into the vehicle that your partner was in on two occasions," Ms Crews told Mr Fuller, referring to the police statement of facts. "The act of violence occurs sometime after that. And, according to the facts, you have gone to a home and retrieved a weapon. I can't see, on these facts, an issue of self-defence even properly being made out."
Solicitor Iain Bruce had raised the issue of self-defence, which he called a "quintessential jury question", and said his client could offer a $20,000 surety and report to police daily if released.
Ms Crews denied the bail application and adjourned the matter to Newcastle Local Court on May 8.
It is believed that Mr Fuller has for several years been involved in a bitter conflict with his sister, Kristy Duley, and Ms Duley’s de facto partner, Mr McCulloch.
And on December 19, the two parties are alleged to have crossed paths in Beach Street; Mr Fuller a passenger in a silver Holden Commodore sedan and Mr McCulloch the driver of a black Nissan Navara.
Words were exchanged and Mr Fuller approached Mr McCulloch’s car on foot.
Mr Fuller argued with his sister and Mr McCulloch and then Mr McCulloch has put his four-wheel-drive in reverse and driven backwards, colliding with the silver Holden Commodore behind him. Mr Fuller’s partner, Narelle Abercrombie, was seated in the driver’s seat of the silver Commodore at the time.
The group kept arguing and then Mr McCulloch reversed his four-wheel-drive again, smashing into the silver Commodore for a second time. Mr Fuller is then alleged to have run down Beach Street, away from the Pacific Highway, where he is accused of grabbing a backpack and two large knives.
The police were called and Mr McCulloch and Ms Duley left the scene, but then returned to Beach Street.
Mr Fuller is then alleged to have approached Mr McCulloch’s car while he was seated in the driver’s seat and stabbed him three times.