Best friend stabbed tradie through heart: court

A Melbourne man is accused of stabbing his best mate through the heart during a fight at a party, but he claims it was self-defence, a court has been told.

Rian Farrell has been charged with the murder of his best friend and tradie Liam Cahill at a Docklands apartment in May 2020.

The 23-year-old and the victim were at a party at the apartment when a fight broke out, the Melbourne Magistrates Court was told on Tuesday.

Mr Farrell had told his friend to leave the flat before the fatal incident but the tradie refused, and instead a fight ensued.

“You’re my best friend, why do I have to leave,” Mr Cahill told his friend in the minutes before the stabbing.

Farrell plunged the knife into his best friend’s chest, and it went through the tradie’s heart, crown prosecutor John Dickie told the court.

“The victim was stabbed with a knife to the centre of his chest … with a knife going essentially all the way in through the body,” he said.

But the accused killer’s lawyer Sam Norton said it was a “dynamic, swift moving scene”, and his client believed the victim grabbed a bottle to hit him. The pair had also been throwing punches at each other during the incident.

“None of the eyewitness saw Mr Cahill try to get a bottle let alone use it,” magistrate Dominic Lennon said.

“No one sees the stab wound get inflicted either,” Mr Norton replied.

After the stabbing a witness said Mr Farrell went out into the hall after his friend.

“He said, ‘No wake up’, I think he tried to shake him, I’m not sure,” the witness recounted.

Mr Norton argued his client did not intend to kill or cause serious injury to Mr Cahill.

However, Magistrate Dominic Lennon disagreed and committed Mr Farrell to stand trial in the Supreme Court.

“Not guilty,” Mr Farrell said when asked to enter a plea.

He is scheduled to appear in court next month.

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