Jurrah not holding machete: witness

AFL star Liam Jurrah was not holding a machete on the night he is accused of using one to attack his cousin and others at a town camp near Alice Springs, a court has been told.

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Jurrah and two co-accused – Christopher Walker and Josiah Fry – are facing a committal hearing on charges of aggravated assault, being armed with an offensive weapon at night and unlawfully causing serious harm.

Alice Springs Magistrates Court heard on Monday that Jurrah had led a group and attacked his cousin Basil Jurrah with a machete and that Walker had struck the man with an axe.

But under questioning by Jurrah’s lawyer Jon Tippett QC on Tuesday, a witness said Basil Jurrah was holding the machete, not Liam.

Philomena White, who was called by the prosecution to testify, said she saw Fry strike Basil Jurrah with a nulla nulla, a traditional Aboriginal club. She said Jurrah was defending himself from his cousin.

Ms White said Basil Jurrah was holding a machete in a threatening way but was so drunk he fell over.

Another witness, Ingrid White, whom the prosecution earlier alleged was attacked by Jurrah with a machete, said she didn’t see the footballer holding that type of weapon. “He was holding a nulla nulla,” she said.

Ms White said she had been drinking and things were a bit confusing during the fracas at the town camp on the night of March 7.

Prosecutors intervened when another witness, Samuel White, appeared to contradict a statement he had given to police. Mr White said he saw Liam Jurrah arguing but not fighting with anyone.

Mr White said he had been drinking with about a dozen other people before the incident occurred.

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