Arson 'wasn't revenge' – Macdonald
Tue, 19 Jun 2012 11:13a.m.
By Lloyd Burr
Ewen Macdonald told police he would have been sweaty and steaming if he biked to Scott Guy's driveway, shot him and biked back to start work on the farm.
In the video interview with police, he says farm workers that morning would have noticed sweat and steam on him when he turned up, but they didn't.
Questioning about the murder started with Detective Glen Jackson outlining the potential logistics of Macdonald killing Mr Guy.
“Scott was killed at 4:43am and the next person to see you doesn’t see you until 5am. That leaves plenty of opportunity for you to bike back from Scott’s house to yours, having shot him, and carrying on as normal,” Mr Jackson says.
“I’d say you would be a bit worked up, a normal person,” Macdonald replies.
“Well a normal person wouldn’t set fire to buildings and smash up someone’s new house,” Mr Jackson says.
Macdonald told police that he wouldn’t take someone’s life and he’s “not that extreme”.
He added that he sweats profusely and if he killed Mr Guy that morning, his farm workers would have noticed he was sweaty.
“The steam would have been pouring off me...If I had to do it in the timeframe you said I did, I would have had to screamed up there [to Scott’s house],” he says.
‘If I was caught, I’d have to admit it’
Macdonald told police if there was evidence that proved he murdered his brother-in-law, then he would have to admit it.
The jury in the Scott Guy murder trial has spent the morning watching video of the police interview conducted with Macdonald the day he was arrested.
In the video, Macdonald spends more than two hours denying he vandalised Mr Guy’s house, burned down an old farmhouse and slaughtered two of his neighbour’s prized stags.
However, when police tell Macdonald his friend and former farmworker Callum Boe had told them differently, Macdonald does an about turn and comes clean.
But Macdonald denies he is responsible for the death of Mr Guy, who was found shot dead at the end of his driveway in 2010.
In the interview, Detective Glen Jackson reminds Macdonald that he had agreed that when police found the man responsible for the arson and the damage, they would find the murderer.
“Yeah but I am not the murderer,” Macdonald replied.
“I said it would make sense for your investigation.”
Macdonald is asked: “If you use that logic, do you really think that you will walk out of here without being charged with murder?”
“I would say you are going to charge me with murder, it doesn’t matter,” Macdonald said.
“But I am not guilty. Admitting to a crime I haven’t committed isn’t going to make it better for me.”
Macdonald then says the police need evidence and if there was evidence, he would admit it.
“If there was evidence that proves I done [sic] it, if I was caught, then you’d have to admit to it,” he says.
Later in the interview, Macdonald concedes: “I guess I won’t be going home tonight”, to which Detective Laurie Howell replies: “I doubt it very much Ewen.
“I imagine you will be appearing in court tomorrow.”
Macdonald hasn’t been home since.
Macdonald and friend thought arson ‘would be funny’
Ewen Macdonald says he killed a neighbour’s prized deer “for a challenge” and torched an old farm house for a laugh, but denies he is guilty of his brother-in-law’s murder.
Video of a police interview with Macdonald the day he was arrested for the murder of Scott Guy is being shown at the High Court in Wellington this morning.
Macdonald admitted to burning down an old farmhouse and stealing the Hocken family’s two prized stags, as well as vandalising Mr Guy and wife Kylee’s new home.
The farmhouse was on the back of removal trucks on the site where the couple were to build their new house. It was torched on October 24, 2009.
Macdonald initially denied any involvement, but after prolonged questioning from police on numerous details, he eventually told police he did it.
“We went up and we torched it,” he said.
“We thought it would be funny.
“It wasn’t directed at Scott and Kylee, it wasn’t revenge.”
The police interview lasts several hours, with Macdonald beginning by telling Detective Laurie Howell that he would have been at home asleep the night the arson was committed and that he and his wife Anna were shocked by the news.
“We’d obviously slept right through if there had been engines or whatever screaming up the road. I slept right through it,” he said.
“I think I was pretty clear at the start when I asked you; Are you responsible for the arson of that house?,” Mr Howell asks.
“No, no,” Macdonald replies. “Why would I do it? It was part of the farm, it was going to help Scott and Kylee get their dream. It had no benefit to me whatsoever. It just creates more problems.”
Later in the interview, Mr Howell reveals phone records that show Macdonald received a call from his friend Callum Boe at 11pm.
They tell him the fire service attended the fire at midnight and they wanted to know why he was awake an hour before the fire was reported.
He says he was probably asleep, answered it but then hung up.
Police also revealed a number of phone calls and text messages between Macdonald and Mr Boe the day after the fire. Macdonald says Mr Boe might have dialled his number by accident.
Mr Howell then says they have spoken to Mr Boe and he has given them some information.
Macdonald then concedes, telling police he torched the property because he was sick of working his guts out and sick of the unfair partnership with Mr Guy.
He says he was still holding a bit of a grudge, despite telling police everything on the farm was fine.
“[I did it because of] the hours I had to work and I didn’t get to spend time with the kids.
“I was working my arse off and it wasn’t equal.”
Mr Guy was found murdered at the end of his driveway on July 8, 2010.
Macdonald, who was arrested after a year-long police investigation, denies he is responsible for the murder.
The trial is into its third week.
Macdonald: ‘I’m not that psycho’
Macdonald told police he knew nothing of what happened on the morning Mr Guy was shot dead.
“I don’t know what happened. I honestly don’t. It looks obvious, with these events, but I didn’t,” he told police in the video.
“I’m not that psycho,” he says.
He says work on the farm has been harder since Mr Guy died and it had made things worse.
“I have nothing to do with it,” he tells police.
Mr Howell then tells him that wasn’t going to wash with him.
“Well I wish I could help,” he replies.
Jury sees video of Macdonald’s police interview
Yesterday afternoon, the court was shown the first two-and-a-half hours of the video tape which showed Macdonald denying having anything to do with the theft of the neighbour’s deer, the arson on an old farm house and vandalism at Mr Guy’s new house.
He has since admitted being responsible for all three crimes.
In the video, police ask him directly if he was responsible for the offences, starting with the theft of the Hocken family’s prized deer which went missing in 2006.
“I'll put it to you bluntly: Have you got any involvement in that at all?,” Detective Laurie Howell asks him.
“Nah, nah, I’d be honest, that’s what my old man said to me, he said ‘have you been round there?’ and I said ‘nah, I’m not that stupid’,” replied Macdonald.
“Did he?,” says Mr Howell.
“Yeah. It’s too close to home. A day or two after he said ‘Oh you been round there?’ and I was like ‘nah, nah’,” says Macdonald.
“Why did he say that?,” the detective replies.
“He probably just thought, you know. I just thought ‘nah, that’s too close to home. I’m not that dumb’. Yeah. But they are just silly. Those stags are thirty pointers, they are not a trophy of mine…I don’t class them as a trophy,” he says.
Half-an-hour later, Macdonald is asked again.
“Do you clearly deny any involvement of the theft of the deer at the Hocken’s?”
“Yep, yep,” he replied.
Later in the interview, Mr Howell moves on to questions about the arson involving the old farmstead being removed from the site where Mr Guy’s new house would later be built.
Macdonald says he expected to be taken in and questioned about it.
“Anna, mum and dad, everyone and my brother have been saying it, they said ‘wait until they start going to town on you’,” Macdonald says.
“So you have been expecting it,” replies Mr Howell.
“Oh yeah, yeah, like ‘it’s going to be your turn soon’ and I was like ‘yeah I know’,” says Macdonald.
When asked why he was expecting to be questioned, he starts talking about moving furniture to Tauranga.
Macdonald is then asked again:
“I think I was pretty clear at the start when I asked you. Are you responsible for the arson of that house?,” Mr Howell says.
“No, no,” Macdonald replies. “Why would I do it? It was part of the farm, it was going to help Scott and Kylee get their dream. It had no benefit to me whatsoever. It just creates more problems,” he says.
He says in the video that he and his wife Anna were shocked by the news of the arson and didn’t hear a thing all night.
“Anna and I were shocked. We’d obviously slept right through if there had been engines or whatever screaming up the road. I slept right through it,” he said.
Macdonald then said he had heard it was a former worker of the removal company who was angry at being sacked.
“At work [farm hand Sheryl said there had been a disgruntled employee, [who] got the sack or something. That’s the assumption her brother Phillip was making about who was responsible,” he said.
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