Trial: Police inspect Luke Hargrave’s burnt-out utility, which was set on fire by his accused murderer, Campbell Hart. Campbell Hart showed no signs of psychotic behaviour on the night he killed friend and fellow drug dealer Luke Hargrave, a trial has been told.
Expert clinical psychiatrist Yvonne Skinner said Hart’s erratic behaviour in a police interview just hours after the shootingwas probably more due to stress and fright over his predicament.
Dr Skinner told a Supreme Court murder trial in Albury on Tuesday she disagreed with another psychiatrist’s assessment that Hart hada substance-induced psychotic disorder.
Instead, she believed Hart, 30, had a stimulant use disorder.
Dr Skinner, the final witness called in the trial, said there was no doubt Hart had suffered from drug-induced hallucinations in the months leading up to the shooting.
But she was adamant he was not psychotic.
She pointed to Hart’s interview with police late on the morning of October 30, 2013 –less than 12 hours after the shooting at the Vickers Road, Lavington, home of Mr Hargrave.
Dr Skinner agreed some of Hart’s answers were strange, but if he was psychotic he would have been displaying symptoms such as suddenly jumping up and down or a heightened awareness.
In response to a question from defence barrister Eric Wilson SC, Dr Skinner said Hart’s erratic answers could have been a way of him “trying to find a way to produce a defence for himself”.
Dr Skinner said other evidence also suggested Hart was not psychotic, such as an observation by Mr Hargrave’s partner, Jacinta Lekic.
She described Hart’s behaviour on the night of October 29 as “completely fine, normal”, something highlightedby Crown prosecutor Wayne Creasey SC in his closing address to the jury.
Mr Creasey also drew theirattention to a large number of questions posed to Hart by police in which his answers showeda clear memory of many of the events of that night.
Mr Hargrave died in Albury hospital the morning after he was shot to the left temple with a .22 calibre pen pistol.
Mr Creasey told the jury substantial impairment was only a partial defence that could be considered only if itfirst produced a guilty verdictto murder.
“The main theme of all of this is money,” Mr Creasey said, pointing to the antagonism of Hart towards the deceased over a $6000 drug debt as well as money thathe had already handed over for Mr Hargrave’s ute, without getting the registration papers.
To illustrate this, Mr Creasey pointed to Hart’s comment that “Hargy just got greedy” and “I was just telling him I wanted my money”.
The jury is expected to be sent out on Wednesday to consider its verdict.
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