'Payback 7' hearing: 'They was punching him a lot of times.'

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DAY TWO
 
By KIERAN FINNANE
 
Kumunjayi Pollard was still alive and walking when he arrived at Charles Creek, an eyewitness told the Alice Springs Magistrates Court this morning.
 
“Don’t hit me, uncle,” Clarinda Dixon heard him say. And again: “Uncle, can you help me?”
 
He had walked from the car that brought him back from Ilparpa Camp, where he had already been beaten, according to evidence heard yesterday. As he walked he was being punched by the five men with him: Silas Raggett, Lawrence Collin, Mervyn Wilson, Christopher Daniel and Kasman Andy.
 
Now, as she heard him talking, he was lying on the ground, face up, surrounded by the five. Mervyn Wilson was hitting him with his hand, she said.
 
She said she saw him stabbed by Christopher Daniel. Where? In the leg, she said, but under further cross-examination, could not be sure as Petrina Marshall was there, trying to stop it all. “She was in the way,” Ms Dixon said.
 
Asked who hit Kumunjayi Pollard first, she said Christopher Daniel. She also named Kasman Andy and “Chicka”, a nickname for accused man Silas Raggett.
 
How many times was he hit? “They was punching him a lot of times,” she said.
 
She gave evidence of seeing Christopher Daniel and Kasman Andy holding knives.
 
Kumunjayi Pollard appeared to be dead later that night when his body was dumped off the north Stuart Highway. It was discovered two days later. Seven men face court over his death, six charged with murder, one with being an accessory after the fact. The hearing is into whether the men will be committed to stand trial for the crime.
 
The accused men sat grim faced through the evidence of Ms Dixon, the young girlfriend of Silas Raggett, aka Chicka. At the start of her evidence she stared straight in front of her but soon and for most of the rest of gruelling two and half hours she stared at the floor, sometimes sinking her head almost to her chest, speaking very quietly and almost always through an interpreter. She never looked at the defendants.
 
Chicka had hot wired the car they used first to buy grog, later to go to Ilparpa, she said. He was driving both going to and coming from Ilparpa, but according to her he was not in the car when it left Charles Creek after the further assault on Kumunjayi Pollard there.
 
She said Chicka told her that he had hit Kumunjayi Pollard at Ilparpa. She did not see him with a weapon at Charles Creek.
 
PHOTO: People following the hearing during the lunchtime recess.
 

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