Man tells of finding dead friend

Paul Karran was found dead in his home on January 30, 2010.
Paul Karran was found dead in his home on January 30, 2010.

PETER Edward Bacon, who has been charged with the murder of Paul Karran, appeared in Gladstone Magistrate Court today for the first day of his committal hearing.

Paul Karran was allegedly murdered some time between the 26 and 30 January last year in his Gladstone home.

The court saw police prosecutor, Acting Sergeant Sean Franklin, tender close to 40 exhibits as evidence, as well as over 60 witness statements.

Nine witnesses were cross examined during the course of the day, including Mr Karran’s good friend Noel Skinner, who discovered Mr Karran’s body after being alerted by a bad smell in the house.

Mr Skinner, who often visited Mr Karran, came by to visit as per usual on Friday 29 January, whereupon he discovered a smashed window and a key that had been broken off in the lock of the front door.

He could not contact Mr Karran on his mobile and did not think he was home.

Mr Skinner, who was expected to move into the residence with Mr Karran, owned keys to the residence and let himself in through the back door.

He told the court how he checked to see if Mr Karran was sleeping, and described Mr Karran’s room as being messy, with the bed unmade and the doona on the floor. He also said that the room stank but thought that it smelt equivalent to a brand of cheap red wine.

The next day, on the 30th January, Mr Skinner returned to the residence.

Mr Skinner again checked Mr Karran’s room and noticed that the ‘smell in the room was really strong.’

He went to open a window to let in some fresh air, which led him to walk past the doona on the floor.

So as not to tread on the doona, Mr Skinner kicked it out of the way.

"Then I saw Paul’s hand," he said. "I thought Paul was drunk under the doona. I was going to give him a shake and say, ‘what are you doing?’ I was going to ask him if he wanted a feed, because I was cooking bacon and eggs in the kitchen. The last thing I expected when I walked into the room was to find my mate dead under the doona."

The committal will continue tomorrow.

Topics:  court murder

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