Clarence Crime
Clarence Crime

Murder accused shoved cellmate over snoring dispute: court

THE MAN accused of murdering Grafton inmate Ian Klum shoved him after a cellmate dispute over snoring, a court has heard.

Shane Leslie Johnson has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Klum after it has been alleged an altercation in their Grafton Correctional Centre cell in the early hours of June 10, 2010 left Mr Klum with a fatal brain injury.

Mr Johnson's interview with detectives the day after the alleged incident was played in Grafton Supreme Court on Monday.

In the interview, Mr Johnson said he woke to Mr Klum snoring and shook his bed in an attempt to stop the noise.

"He turned around and he yelled things I couldn't understand," Mr Johnson said.

The court heard Mr Klum went back to snoring and after Mr Johnson shook his bed a second time, Mr Klum reached through the metal bedframe "scratching and clawing" at Mr Johnson in the scuffle. Mr Johnson said he hit his right hand on the frame.

"He got up, I got up. I came around and I pushed him hard in the chest, he went back on his bed."

Mr Johnson told detectives Mr Klum's head hit the pillow and when questioned denied punching him.

He told detectives his cellmate's head hadn't hit the wall but was "just short of the pillow".

"My intention was to get the f--k away from him," he said.

He said the pair went back to bed, but an hour later when Mr Klum's snoring resumed, he shook the bed again.

This time, Mr Johnson said his cellmate was "carrying on" and yelling "help, help, help". He said he threw himself onto the ground and pressed the emergency buzzer to call corrective services officers.

The court heard Mr Klum was wiping blood from the right side of his face and Mr Johnson later saw blood around Mr Klum's bed. As he heard officers approach the cell, Mr Johnson said Mr Klum put on his shoes and threw himself onto the floor.

Mr Johnson told corrective services officers there had been a "small scuffle".

The court heard Mr Klum was unable to walk and threw himself on the ground near the door. Mr Johnson said his cellmate stood and went back to the ground as we watched him leave the cell.

"He seemed to be one continuous sort of drama queen."

Mr Johnson said the pair had disagreements over hygiene since moving into the same cell a week prior.

The trial continues before Justice Geoffrey Bellew.

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