Two friends are alleged to have burned a third man to death after the friend drank the last four cans of beer in the house.
Gary Stewart Miles, 40, and Gregory John Channing, 41, are accused of murdering Paul John Stamp in Darwin in September last year after a row.
Stamp, who was sharing a house with Miles at the time, apparently drank the last four cans of Miles’ beer, despite being warned not to.
When Miles found out, him and Channing allegedly beat Stamp, breaking eight ribs and causing internal injuries.
The duo are then accused of dragging him to the boot of a car before driving to an industrial estate where they planned to ‘teach him a lesson’ by making him walk home.
Darwin Supreme Court, Australia heard that the car ran out of fuel, so the pair hitched a ride to get some more, and when they returned they poured the petrol over the car before setting it alight and burning Stamp to death.
Both men have denied murder. Channing is already serving a five year sentence for assault on Stamp and deprivation of liberty.
Appearing in court, Channing told prosecutors that Miles had snapped, shouting ‘I’m going to kill this c***’ while covering the car with fuel.
Miles was shocked by what he’d done, Channing said, adding: ‘You could tell by the way he was, he was a different person. Upset, like he couldn’t believe what happened, like it didn’t happen but it did.’
But defence counsel Jon Tippett QC accused Channing of setting the car alight because he hadn’t liked Stamp, who had been disrespectful and commented on Channing’s girlfriend’s breasts.
‘You were the person who came up with the plan, weren’t you, because this man Stamp really p***** you off,’ Mr Tippett alleged. Channing agreed but denied starting the fire.
He previously told the court that Miles initiated the beating and paid for the fuel but under cross-examination said he had paid for it, as Miles didn’t have his wallet.
The pair were arrested last year, two days after Stamp’s body was found in the burned out car.
Speaking to the Australian Times, Stamp’s brother Craig, said he had moved from Western Australia to the Northern Territory a week before while looking for a job in mining.
He said: ‘It’s just insane. He just had a big heart and loved everyone. He always tried hard to please everyone. I spoke to him on Saturday, a mate had organised a job for him and found him an apartment.
‘It was a new opportunity for him. The last I heard from him was when he sent me a text on Tuesday for my son’s birthday, and then it happened that night.’