UPDATE: Teen accused of stabbing brothers found not guilty

UPDATE:

A JURY has just found a Gladstone teenager not guilty of two counts of wounding brothers Stephen and Aaron Eilola.

The 17-year-old, who can't be named, looked relieved and embraced his parents as he left the courtroom.

It took the jury of three women and eight men less than 30 minutes to return its not guilty verdict just before 11.30am today after hearing four days of evidence from a range of witnesses.

Both Aaron Eilola, 19, and his brother Stephen, 26, received stab wounds around 1am on May 17 last year following a party at Telina.

Neither brother was at the District Court to hear the verdict.

Initial:

A GLADSTONE teenager on trial in the District Court accused of stabbing the two Eilola brothers after a party now admits he had a knife.

Defence counsel Frank Martin made the admission on behalf of his client as final submissions were made as the Crown concluded its case before a jury.

He said the teen was only 16 when he "stupidly" told police he didn't have a knife that night. He did tell officers he had been fighting for his life.

"Through me he admits he used it," Mr Martin said.

"He accepts he lied to police. He wasn't on oath. You don't convict him because he lied. He's come clean and admits he had the knife and he used it."

The teen now 17, is charged with two counts of wounding Aaron Eilola and his brother Stephen Eilola around 1am on May 17 last year in Vernon Rd, Telina.

He is defending the charges on the grounds it was self defence, Mr Martin saying to the jury that the law does not punish someone for reasonably defending themselves.

In a police interview video recorded with Detective Daryl Sparkes and played to the jury, the accused teen said: "I didn't stab Stephen or anyone. I was getting my arse kicked... I didn't have a knife."

In an extract from the interview recalled by Mr Martin, the teen said: "I got hit from behind by Aaron. There were four of them on top of me. I was trying to fight for my life. I was f**ked. Then four of my boys came in."

Mr Martin recalled an earlier incident in which a party guest Leroy Brown tried to get the accused teen to fight.

"He did everything not to fight Leroy Brown, even when Leroy was in his face," Mr Martin said, directly addressing the jury panel.

"But when his smaller friend was assaulted he went to his aid. And he called 000."

In his interview the teen said: "It was a good party, it went to shit, all these gate crashers..."

After calling 000 he said he walked away down the road when he got hit from behind by Aaron Eilola then four males were on top of him.

"All four were going for it," he said. Crown evidence is that it was the accused teen who first called police on 000 at 1.07am.

And the neighbour next door to the party called 000 at 1.12am over a disturbance down the street.

Counsel, Sarah Dennis for the Crown in her address said the jury must consider "the legality" of what happened that night.

"He brought a knife to a fist fight. He used it to stab two people," she said.

"It was unnecessary, excessive and unreasonable."

"There is no doubt wounding were caused. The question is whether they were lawful or unlawful," the prosecutor said.

"What he did wasn't necessary. Wasn't reasonable and unlawful."

The jury will retire today to consider its verdict after Judge Michael Burnett gives directions.


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