Ballarat Curry House alleged murder victim was defending himself, Supreme Court jury told

Abdullah Siddiqi
Abdullah Siddiqi

A forensic pathologist has described the degree of force used to kill Pakistani man Abdullah Siddiqi as severe.

The 38-year-old was found dead in the Ballarat Curry House restaurant after an alleged altercation between him and chef, Hari Prasad Dhakal, on October 25, 2016.

Dr Matthew Lynch told a Supreme Court jury in Ballarat on Thursday Mr Siddiqi had 17 sharp force injuries, predominately on his head, face and neck.

He said the victim’s right temple had been severed through skin, skull and three centimetres into his brain, while another injury sliced through his neck and nicked his spine.

“The degree of force is severe,” Dr Lynch said. 

He said there were two injuries on Mr Siddiqi’s hands which showed he was defending himself.

Inside the Ballarat Curry House. File Image

Inside the Ballarat Curry House. File Image

The jury was told Mr Siddiqi was almost three times over the blood alcohol limit, with a reading of between 0.13 and 0.14, about the time of the altercation.

But he normally did not drink much, one witness said.

Nine witnesses gave evidence on the third day of the murder trial.

Acting Sergeant Lynne Forster said she was working at the Ballarat Police Station on October 26 when a man with blood on his hands entered the building at 8.30pm.

She said she asked him what had happened after he presented a plastic bag containing towels, which she later realised also contained a knife.

Acting Sergeant Forster said the man told her the victim “wouldn’t leave me alone so I stabbed him in the neck”.

She was handed the knife in the witness box, which was then tendered to the court.

Another police witness, Detective Senior Constable Anthony Euverard, said he conducted a record of interview with Dhakal, who stated the victim “pushed me and hurt my hand”.

Nazim Masoud told the jury he was speaking to Mr Siddiqi, his friend of 10 years, on the telephone moments before he died.

He said he was not sure if he was drinking alcohol but he seemed happy and they were talking about their families and friends. 

Mr Masoud said Mr Siddiqi was not much of a drinker.

The jury was told the friends had not spoken for about four months when Mr Siddiqi phoned Mr Masoud for a catch-up on the night he died.

Abdullah Siddiqi

Abdullah Siddiqi

Ballarat Curry House owner Upender Bhan said he received a phone call from distressed waitress, Sonia Kumari, about 8.15pm.

He said she told him a fight had broken out after the person who wears the glasses (Mr Siddiqi) had verbally abused the chef who then stabbed him.

Mr Bhan said Dhakal had worked at the restaurant for about four months before the incident and described him as nice.

He said Mr Siddiqi had never drunk alcohol at the restaurant the previous times he had dined there with his wife.

Dhakal, of Nepal, has pleaded not guilty to murder. The trial continues on Friday before Justice Lex Lasry.