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Dad ordered to stand trial over son's murder

A LISMORE man has been ordered to stand trial in the Supreme Court over the alleged stabbing murder of his 29-year-old son.

Christopher John Gibson, 62, will be arraigned before the Supreme Court in Sydney on November 3.

Gibson is alleged to have stabbed his son Shawn twice during an fight between the two men on the evening of November 18 last year at a North Lismore home which resulted in the younger man's death.

The accused appeared in the dock of Lismore Local Court today for his committal hearing before Magistrate David Heilpern.

The Crown called evidence from Newcastle forensic pathologist Dr Brian Beer who conducted a post-mortem analysis of the stab wounds.

The court heard the younger man died as a result of a single stab wound to an area below the right side of his neck, which severed a critical artery.

A second less serious wound was also sustained to the back of the victim's upper shoulder, penetrating to a depth of 23mm.

Dr Beer described the degree of force required to make the fatal wound as only "mild to moderate" - but it was enough to just penetrate the lining of the chest.

The men were most likely facing each other when the wound was delivered.

During cross examination Gibson's counsel Jim Fuggle asked Dr Beer whether the alleged victim could have "run into" the knife during the altercation.

"That is a possibility, yes," Dr Beer said.

However for such a sequence of events Shawn Gibson would had to have been "charging" with his head and torso down "like a bull", Dr Beer said.

The court also heard that Shawn Gibson was significantly bigger than his father, standing 195cm tall.

Two other witnesses, brothers Shayne and Jacob Wade, were also called to give evidence about an altercation between Gibson and his son which occurred at least two years before the alleged murder.

On that day, Shawn and Christopher Gibson had been over at the Wade brothers' home for "a few beers" when a verbal argument developed which degenerated into pushing and shoving.

The court also heard the elder Gibson had problems with his breathing.

Mr Fuggle suggested to Shayne Wade that during the argument "Shawn grabbed Chris around the neck", and the father said 'don't, I can't breathe".

Shayne Wade replied: "If I had seen or heard anything like that it would be in my statement, so I don't recall".

Young brother Jacob gave evidence that after going to bed around 8pm he was woken up from the noise of the father and son's arguing downstairs.

He told the court that he went downstairs and witnessed "a bit of push and shove" before his brother separated the two men and "it all calmed down".

Jacob told the court that the accused was not a strong breather and occasionally he could be seen "as hard as he could belting his chest".

"Did you ever hear Shawn say the words 'die, die' to Chris?" Mr Fuggle asked.

"No," Jacob said.

He also asked Jacob whether he ever heard Shawn say to his father: "I wish you could be a real father for once".

Magistrate Heilpern said he was satisfied there was enough evidence to take the matter to trial and ordered Gibson to appear via video link for his arraignment in Sydney Supreme Court on November 3.

If Gibson formally pleads not guilty, his Supreme Court trial will be held in Lismore.

Topics:  christopher john gibson editors picks murder northern rivers northern rivers crime north lismore murder shawn gibson



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