Shandee Blackburn.
Shandee Blackburn.

Men deny Shandee's death a failed robbery attempt

WILLIAM Daniel and Norman Dorante have denied any involvement in the stabbing death of Shandee Blackburn.

Both men appeared in the Supreme Court in Mackay as witnesses for the prosecution in the trial of John Peros for the murder of Ms Blackburn on February 9, 2013. Mr Peros has pleaded not guilty.

Mr Daniel and Mr Dorante were 'people of interest' during the police investigation.

At the time of Ms Blackburn's death Mr Daniel was living in a unit on James St and, in the early hours of February 9, Mr Dorante said he had been sleeping on a couch at the unit.

Crown prosecutor Joshua Phillips asked Mr Daniel if he had known Ms Blackburn or had had any involvement in her death and he replied no.

Under cross examination, Mr Daniel said the first he had learned of the murder was when he had woken up the following morning and there had been police everywhere at the bottom of Boddington St.

Mr Daniel admitted he knew rumours had surfaced in the weeks after Ms Blackburn's death that he had been involved.

He admitted to defence solicitor Craig Eberhardt that he had been angry his name was being mentioned in relation to her death.

The court heard that soon after the rumours surfaced, Mr Daniel had gone to Broome in Western Australia where he had phoned his aunt, CIB Detective Senior Sergeant Samantha Bliss, saying he was concerned police wanted to talk to him about Ms Blackburn. Mr Daniel had then gone to Wyong in New South Wales.

The defence accused him of running from police.

"I went over there (Broome) visiting my girl, and then I went back to my sister's house (Wyong) where I was residing at the time," Mr Daniel said.

He promised police that he would return to Mackay for questioning but after failing to appear, police travelled to Wyong for the interview.

The court heard on Friday that Mr Daniel had said, in statements to police, that on the night of February 8-9 he was at home in James St.

In court on Friday he said he had been waiting for the delivery of drugs. He said he had been waiting for three-four days for the delivery.

Mr Daniel admitted that in 2013 he had been involved in home invasions and often carried knives, and that he had previously told police the only time he didn't carry knives was in the shower.

He said under cross examination on Friday that carrying knifes was just a "habit".

But Mr Eberhardt accused Mr Daniel of trying to rob Ms Blackburn on the night of her death.

"You robbed her, didn't you? You took her white bag from her, when she fought back you stabbed her, didn't you? Then you kept stabbing her while you were trying to take her bag, didn't you? Then you left her for dead, didn't you Mr Daniel?," Mr Eberhardt said.

Mr Daniel denied all of the allegations.

Mr Dorante also denied any involvement and said that on the night of the death of Ms Blackburn he had been asleep on the couch (at James St) and had been asleep for several days. He explained that he had been addicted to speed in 2013 and would stay awake for days and then sleep for days.

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