Two men whose DNA linked them to an aggravated armed robbery at the Mowbray Hotel in 2018 denied involvement when they appeared in the Supreme Court in Launceston.
Ziggy Robert Brunskill and Brandon Malcolm Charlesworth gave evidence in the trials of Michael Samuel Charlesworth of Rocherlea and Matthew Luke Williams of Rocherlea who have both pleaded not guilty to the robbery on May 9, 2018.
Both men came under robust questioning from defence counsel who separately suggested that they were responsible for the robbery.
Two heavily disguised, gloved and armed men stole a till containing $1684 at about 8.40pm. The Crown says Mr Williams struck an employee over the head with a machete.
The defence says there is no dispute that a robbery occurred but is arguing that the identity of the robbers cannot be proved beyond reasonable doubt.
Extra security officers were in the court as Brandon Charlesworth, the brother of the accused, gave evidence.
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Mr Williams coiunsel, Evan Hughes, suggested that Brandon Charlesworth had committed the robbery but could not remember because of illicit drug use. Justice Robert Pearce intervened.
“You can object to answering if it may tend to prove that you were the person criminally responsible,” he said.
He gave a series of ‘don’t recall’ answers and said he was not sure if he had ever picked up the machete.
Mr Brunskill admitted that a white Holden Commodore used in the robbery was his.
Mr Brunskill told Crown prosecutor John Ransom that he had lived at Verdun St in Mowbray in May 2018.
Items of clothing and weapons relating to the robbery were found in a washing machine in the garage.
CCTV footage of Mr Brunskill and Michael Charlesworth at BP Newnham on the night of the robbery was previously shown to the jury .
Mr Brunskill admitted that he had purchased duct tape and put GT stripes on his car to make it look different.
“You were using the ute when it evaded police?” Mr Hughes asked. “That’s it,” Mr Brunskill replied.
“Were you the getaway driver?” Mr Hughes asked. “No,” he said.
Michael Charlesworth’s defence counsel Jessie Sawyer asked him about the night.
“Is that day stuck in your mind?” she asked.
“I suppose,” Mr Brunskill said.
“Is that because that is the day you were involved in a robbery,? she asked. “No,” he replied.
Forensic scientist Cory Griffiths gave evidence of DNA profiles on clothing seized by police.
Mr Brunskill’s DNA was detected on the car steering wheel and a dark grey hooded jacket.
Brandon Charlesworth’s DNA was found on the handle of the machete.
DNA from both men was found on a black backpack.
Dr Griffiths said that Michael Charlesworth’s DNA was present on the passenger seat of the car, a piece of white fabric, a dark grey hooded jacket, left and right black shoes, a piece of grey material and a pair of red Ansell gloves.
Mr Williams’ DNA was on a grey hooded jacket, a blue Fox cap and a pair of red Ansell gloves.
Brandon Charlesworth is expected to give further evidence on Thursday.