Brothers accused of brutal murder after Origin party
TWO Sydney brothers ferociously stabbed a homeless man to death in the car he lived in shortly after leaving a State of Origin party, a court heard.
Jacksun Travers, 20, and his 22-year-old brother Ray were charged with murder in July 2017 - a month after Peter Hofmann's body was found with a knife blade still lodged in his chin.
The brothers have pleaded not guilty.
Their NSW Supreme Court trial heard the retired bus driver was killed in Maroubra near the car he had been sleeping rough in for months.
The Crown alleges the Travers brothers dragged the sleeping 68-year-old out of his car about 9.45pm on June 21 on Mons Ave before bashing and knifing him.
"The deceased was stabbed six times. Three of those injuries involved stabbing to the right side of the chest," Crown prosecutor Adrian Robertson said in his opening address.
He said Mr Hofmann was also slashed in the neck and hand before being stabbed in the chin with such force "that it snapped the handle of the knife."
Jacksun's DNA evidence from a cigarette butt was collected from the footwell of Mr Hofmann's car while the then teenager's blood was also found on the rear driver's outside window, the court heard.
The court heard his brother Ray's DNA profile could not be excluded from Mr Hoffman's clothing, but his lawyer denied any involvement in the murder at all.
Defence barrister Tony Evers said the prosecution relies heavily on trace amounts of DNA but noted it's "surprisingly limited" as a forensic tool and is unable to indicate when, how or by who the DNA was deposited.
Jacksun's defence barrister Ertunc Ozen SC said the Crown's case is circumstantial, agreeing that Mr Hoffman suffered a horrific death at the hands of two people but stressing there were many young men in the area on the night of Origin II.
The pair had been at an apartment party on Fenton Ave - just a street away from where Mr Hofmann parked his car each night to sleep after "falling into financial hardship", the court heard.
The brothers had also been drinking beer at the Bay Hotel earlier that evening while Jacksun had left the Maroubra Seals Club an hour before the murder by jumping off a smokers balcony, Mr Robertson said.
The Crown will also rely on security camera footage from those pubs, text messages sent between the brothers and a "significant" phone conversation they made immediately before the stabbing, he said.
"As a result of the phone call, the two accused converged from different directions on the car and they ultimately assaulted and stabbed the deceased," Mr Robertson told the Darlinghurst trial on Monday.
The jury heard that evidence will be called from a chef who passed one of the men in a nearby park on her way home from work and claims to have seen saw him banging on a car with both fists while yelling: "open the f***ing door."
A taxi driver also spotted people kicking and hitting the door of Mr Hofmann's car, the Crown alleges.
The court heard that following the alleged assault one brother was heard by a witness telling the other: "we've got to get out of here", and Ray allegedly ditched the knife handle down the road before getting a taxi to Coral Sea Park.