Woman ‘shocked’ after Qld stab victim died


Using a dish towel to soak up the blood, Kellie Barton knew Joel Frew had been injured as she drove him to the hospital.

But Ms Barton told the Brisbane Supreme Court it was a ‘complete shock’ when she found out Mr Frew had died shortly after deposing him.

Tyler Joseph Kelleher, 33, pleaded not guilty to murder after Mr Frew was stabbed with a 20cm blade and died shortly after being left in hospital in March 2019.

CCTV footage of the moment the 42-year-old was stabbed in the abdomen outside a unit in south Brisbane shortly after arriving at the Wishart Residence was shown to the jury.

Ms Barton lived in the unit with her partner Ryan Powell, but was not present during the knife attack.

However, she told the court she knew Mr Frew had been injured when she arrived at the flat shortly afterwards.

“I could hear a commotion. Joel was standing there, holding his stomach and saying ‘it hurts’ – he was in pain,” she said on Wednesday.

She took a dishcloth for his wound and drove him to the hospital, the court heard.

Ms Barton said after half an hour of waiting, Mr Frew was given a hospital bed and left.

“It was horrible to watch,” she said of the wait.

Just 90 minutes later, Mr Frew was pronounced dead in hospital.

There was so much blood in the dishcloth that blood spilled out at the entrance to the unit when Ms Barton returned and tried to clean it.

“I didn’t want blood everywhere,” she told the court.

Ms Barton said she was still surprised to hear that Mr Frew had died after being arrested by police.

An investigation quickly led police to the Wishart Unit after the manner in which Ms Barton dropped off Mr Frew caught their attention, the court heard.

After police surveillance of the flat, officers arrested Ms Barton and Mr Powell in their car after 1am – around two hours after Mr Frew was left in hospital.

Ms Barton and Mr Powell have not been charged in connection with Mr Frew’s death.

Mr Frew had gone to the flat that evening after being confronted with an earlier incident, the jury heard.

Ms Barton said a friend of Mr Powell brought three men to Wishart’s unit and ‘scammed’ them by stealing drugs.

Ms Barton, Mr Powell and two others, including Kelleher, tried to determine who was responsible, the court heard.

They discovered Mr Frew was friends on Facebook with the three men, Ms Barton said.

After they arrived at his residence, the Crown alleges that Mr. Frew was knocked to the ground and punches were thrown.

Ms Barton said they left with Mr Frew’s phone to see if he had been in contact with the three men.

Mr Frew then went to the Wishart Unit to demand the return of his phone and was stabbed by Kelleher, the court heard.

On Wednesday, Ms Barton declined to claim privilege against self-incrimination at the repeated request of Judge Sean Cooper.

The trial continues.

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