Lawyers have tried to cast doubt on whether a Canberra father was the gunman in a Theodore shooting attack, given one witness to the alleged crime was mostly blind and another was an avid ice user.
Prosecutors say Mr Cunningham shot Graham O’Neil in the thigh outside a house in Freda Gibson Circuit on March 2 last year. They say Mr Moarefi gave him a rifle shortly beforehand.
Mr O’Neil has told the court he’d gone to the house with a group of friends to speak to resident Alex Dimitrov about a friend’s debt. He said when he got there, Mr Dimitrov wouldn’t talk to him, so he turned to leave and then got shot in the leg.
“There was no destination – we heard gunshots and we started running,” Mr O’Neil said.
On Thursday, several witnesses took the stand in the case.
Mr Dimitrov’s partner as at March 2 last year, Sarah Avison, said the incident “all happened very fast”, but she remembered Mr O’Neil’s group was “aggressive” when they arrived at the Theodore house.
She said Mr O’Neil was “the main instigator”, and she remembered him threatening her partner and two of his friends that he was going to come back and shoot them.
“I didn’t even know anyone was hurt until police said so,” Ms Avison said.
She said she didn’t know who Mr Dimitrov was with at the time, but prosecutor Marcus Dyason said she told police one of his friends was of “average build”, while the other was “dark”, of a “really big build”, and “scary-looking”.
Mr Dyason said Ms Avison told police she thought one of the men was carrying a pole before it went “bang”.
Mr Cunningham has pleaded not guilty to intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm, committing an act endangering life, and possessing a prohibited firearm.
Mr Moarefi has denied aiding and abetting the alleged gunman.
Under cross-examination by Mr Cunningham’s barrister Travis Jackson, Ms Avison conceded she’d smoked “probably a lot” of ice that night and doing the drug every day made everything “blur in together”.
She said she didn’t know how much of what she told police was based on her independent memory, but most of it would have been regurgitated from Mr Dimitrov’s accounts.
Ms Avison gave evidence Mr Dimitrov was legally blind in one eye and partially blind in the other; a claim his former stepfather, lawyer John O’Keefe, attested to. Mr O’Keefe said Mr Dimitrov used ice as a “daily habit”.
“I don’t agree with his life choices,” Mr O’Keefe said.
“That was my initial thought, that he must have had something to do with it … the police thought that too, initially.”
In Mr Dyason’s opening remarks, the prosecutor said police initially arrested Mr Dimitrov on suspicion over the shooting. On Thursday, Mr Avison said she was also initially arrested – she thought, for attempted murder – before they were both vindicated by neighbours.
Witness Peter Zdravkovic said he could not recall where he lived, what his phone number was, what car he drove or what he was doing on March 2 last year, but when asked if he knew Mr Cunningham, he answered: “He’s a flop.”
Mr Dyason suggested to Mr Zdravkovic that he was with Mr Cunningham on March 2 last year and that the alleged gunman was working on a car for him. Mr Zdravkovic said he couldn’t recall that either.
He described Mr Moarefi as “an old friend”.
The trial continues.