THE key witness in an assault trial has been accused of making false allegations as payback over an ongoing feud with her son’s girlfriend, a jury was told yesterday.
The accusation was made in the trial of Robert Wayne Jeffrey, 51, who allegedly assaulted Robert Linane in his Ballarat North home on March 6 last year.
Mr Linane was left with severe head injuries and post-traumatic amnesia and spent more than three months in The Alfred hospital.
Mr Linane’s partner Leanne Lawson is the only witness so far to give evidence in the trial in the County Court in Ballarat.
Yesterday defence lawyer Michael Pena-Rees accused Ms Lawson of framing Jeffrey as “payback”, because Jeffrey’s daughter Tiffany had stolen her son Dylan from her.
“It’s payback for what Ms Tiffany Jeffrey did to you by taking your son Dylan away from you,” he said.
“The easiest payback is to make false allegations about her father.”
Ms Lawson denied the claims, along with allegations that she stabbed Dylan with a screwdriver the day before the assault took place.
Mr Pena-Rees also played for the jury two voice messages left by Ms Lawson on Tiffany’s phone last September, in one of which Ms Lawson was heard saying “I’m the one that got your father locked up” and that she would pull Tiffany’s eyes out.
Ms Lawson said she was upset by the injuries her partner had suffered and made the calls out of “pure anger and hurt”.
“I seen how bad he was and he’s going to be like that for the rest of his life,” she said.
“He’s not the man I knew before.”
On Tuesday Ms Lawson told the jury how Mr Linane had been at the back of their Walker Street home on the afternoon of March 6 last year when Jeffrey and three others allegedly walked in.
She said the intruders went to the back of the house to find Mr Linane while she ran to her neighbours while calling triple-zero.
She said she could hear screaming and banging before Jeffrey and the others left the house.
When she went to check on her partner, she said he was laying over the back door barely breathing and with one eye hanging out of his head.
Jeffrey has pleaded not guilty to charges of intentionally causing serious injury, aggravated burglary, criminal damage and theft.
The trial before Judge Tony Howard continues.