Fatal NSW dog barking dispute 'not murder'

A man who killed his neighbour shouldn't be found guilty of murder or manslaughter, his lawyer says.
A man who killed his neighbour shouldn't be found guilty of murder or manslaughter, his lawyer says.

A teenager who fatally shot his aggressive weapon-wielding neighbour in NSW's central west at point-blank range should be found not guilty of murder and manslaughter, his lawyer says.

Justice Stephen Rothman retired from the NSW Supreme Court judge-alone trial on Wednesday to deliberate on the verdict of Nathan Joseph Price, 20.

Price's lawyer Ian Nash said in his closing address to the judge that Jesse Herridge was acting "incredibly aggressively and threateningly," and was in the process of violence with a "very dangerous weapon".

If the then-18-year-old had not retrieved the 12-gauge shortened shotgun and fired at his chest "it might of been the deceased on trial", Mr Nash said.

"In those circumstances, the verdict should be not guilty to murder and not guilty to manslaughter."

The ultimate question for the judge is whether the shooting on June 24, 2019, was done in self-defence.

The stand-off outside Price's Porter Street home in Parkes had escalated from another person's comments about Mr Herridge's barking dogs, the court was earlier told.

The 25-year-old then retrieved an axe handle hidden underneath his car and moved quickly towards Price's mother, who was arguing with him outside a few houses away.

Mr Nash said such an implement was designed to be swung repetitively with force using two hands, and not to break.

"No doubt it's a formidable weapon," Justice Rothman said.

The Crown said Price had not exhibited any loss of control during the altercation in which he retrieved and assembled his gun inside before returning to the scene.

Price later told police: "I told him I had it. I told him to stop. I f***ing gave him his warnings."

But nobody heard these "conversational warnings", the Crown submitted.

Several bystanders disputed the precise moments' Price and Mr Herridge armed themselves before the dog owner ran towards his neighbours' home.

But most witnesses watched him lift the axe handle above his head as if to swing it down towards Price, who was standing as close as 50cm away.

A toxicology report later found high levels of methylamphetamine in the deceased's blood.

Justice Rothman is due to hand down his decision in the coming weeks.

Australian Associated Press