Court hears witnesses tried to save man’s life


Witnesses told how they tried to save the life of a 16-year-old man lying in a gutter in Oamaru during the second day of the retrial of Daniel Ethan Smith, 20, at the Timaru High Court yesterday.

A jury of six men and six women heard witness statements from several Oamaru residents at the Timaru High Court, which was presided over by Justice Rachel Dunningham.

On Wednesday, Smith pleaded not guilty to the murder of 16-year-old William Lewis, stating it was in self-defence. Lewis was stabbed in the back three times following an altercation with Smith on Exe St at about 9.45pm on April 1, 2010.

Oamaru resident Nicholas Withers told the jury he was walking along Thames St with friends on the night of the incident when he heard yelling.

“It was quite a bizarre yell.”

It sounded like someone crying for help so he ran to Exe St and saw a man lying on the ground with another man standing next to him, Mr Withers said.

“The person was lying on his front with a heck of a lot of blood on his back and a large pool of blood in the gutter.

“I knew something was badly wrong.”

He called 111 at 9.54pm then started CPR, with the help of a woman who came along, until a police officer arrived and took over, he said.

Kelly Paisley, of Oamaru, was also walking along Thames St that night when she heard yelling coming from Exe St and ran to the location where she proceeded to assist with CPR.

“I headed straight to where the screaming was coming from. As soon as I got there I seen [sic] this young lad lying on the ground. His friend was yelling to get help.”

Another Oamaru witness, Sonja Braxton,, who lived in Exe St, said she was in bed with her husband watching something on their ipad

“We heard a whole lot of voices fighting which got our attention.”

The sounded like male voices, but she was not sure how many people were out there, she said.

It went quiet then 10 seconds later she heard screams for help and ran straight out to the fence where she saw a body lying on the ground.

Her husband ran to the body to help while she got her mother from inside the house and they provided general assistance.

Oamaru woman Leanne Pauley said she had just finished a meeting at the St John hall on Exe St when she heard yelling and shouting.

“We could see the boy lying on the ground at the side of the road.”

She stayed where she was with several other people who were also at the meeting until about 10.25pm as they did not want to be in the way.

The jury also heard witness statements from people who saw Smith saying he wanted to go home to a man who he was fighting with and another saying that he had been attacked.

Oamaru man Adam Caldwell, who was also living on Exe St, said a distraught Smith had knocked on his door at about 9.56pm saying he had been attacked and stabbed someone.

“He was like a nervous wreck, like he had been hit by a bus.”

He asked to come into the house and Caldwell pushed him and said he needed to call the police.

Smith ran off around the corner and jumped a fence towards the sea.

On April 3, he found a knife under a bush in his property, Caldwell said.

Kylee Ann Island (nee Williams), now residing in Australia, was on the porch of her property opposite Midway Motel on the night of April 1, 2010 when she saw a group of boys across the road talking loadly.

“It wasn’t until one of them said that he was just trying to go home that I had a look.”

The man pushed past them and walked down the street, the other two followed him, she said.

She heard someone yell out but did not think more of it until she heard police sirens about five minutes later.

The retrial continues today.

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