Neighbours saw nothing before Winchester murder, court hears

Neighbours saw nothing before Winchester murder, court hears

Neighbours who drove past Colin Winchester's home minutes before he was shot dead saw nothing out of the ordinary, a court has heard.

Mildred Robertson told the ACT Supreme Court on Tuesday that a clock had read about 9.10pm when she left her Lawley Street for a drive with her husband on January 10, 1989.

David Eastman, left, arrives at court with his legal team earlier in this trial.

David Eastman, left, arrives at court with his legal team earlier in this trial.Credit:Karleen Minney

Mrs Robertson said she had not seen anything odd, heard bangs or shots, or noticed a person or car in the vicinity that evening.

Her husband, Colin, said he had not noticed Mr Winchester’s car during the drive.


The Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner was gunned down as he sat in his car after he had pulled into his neighbour's driveway about 9.15pm.

Mr Winchester was killed with two bullets to the head, shot at close range.

David Harold Eastman, 72, is on trial in the ACT Supreme Court accused of Mr Winchester's murder. He has pleaded not guilty.

Mr Winchester's widow, Gwen, raised the alarm about 9.20pm after finding her husband slumped in his car.

She reported hearing "sharp cracks" shortly beforehand, but had dismissed them as pebbles tossed at the house by passing children.

The court heard paramedics had received a call about a "collapse" at 9.20pm, left the station at 9.21pm, and arrived in Lawley Street about 9.26pm.

The senior officer, Thomas Leffers, told the court he arrived to find Mr Winchester in the driver's seat, slumped over the steering wheel, with the car door ajar, and his leg partially out. He found Mr Winchester had no vital signs and was deceased.


Mr Leffers said he noticed a small hole above Mr Winchester's ear, with blood "dribbling" out, and thought it may have been suicide.

However, he could see no weapon.

Mr Leffers told the court "police cars from everywhere" appeared within 60 seconds of his arrival.

He had then phoned into ambulance headquarters, before staying at the scene until 12.16am.

When asked if it had been a "scene of quite some chaos that night", he answered: "That's true".

Mr Leffers said he could not recall, but he may have tilted Mr Winchester's head to check his pulse and check his pupils while checking his vital signs.

He said his priority at the time had been for the patient, and he had not been concerned that it may have been a crime scene.

The trial continues.

Michael Inman is a courts reporter for The Canberra Times

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