SAMANTHA Kelly’s cousin claims she overheard Peter Arthur murder the mother-of-four, but did not report the phone call to police for 11 months.
Michelle Enright gave evidence to the committal hearing of Christine Lyons, 45, and Ronald Lyons, 44, in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.
Ms Kelly lived in a bungalow at the rear of a Kangaroo Flat property shared with the three murder accused, including Peter Arthur, who has pleaded guilty.
The three were charged with her murder as part of a “joint criminal enterprise”.
Ms Enright claimed she was on the phone to Ms Kelly the moment Arthur entered the bungalow at the rear of the Kangaroo Flat property and used a hammer to kill her.
She was asked to recite the conversation to the court without referring to her second statement, made to police on December 5. She did not mention the conversation in her first statement to police on February 10.
“Sam said they have given her something funny to drink, they gave her fluid and she was feeling a bit drowsy, funny in the head,” Ms Enright told the court.
“I had to keep calm when she told me that they were planning to kill her.
“She said that she overheard them and they were arguing on how they were going to do it.”
The alleged conversation occurred in the early hours of January 21, when Ms Kelly was murdered.
Ms Enright said she then heard Ms Kelly panic as Arthur came into the room.
“I said ‘where are they now?’ and she said ‘they’re out there now arguing on how they’re going to do it’, and towards the end she said ‘here they come now’.
“That’s when they’ve gone in and I heard it.
“And then she’s muttered and she’s dropped the phone and he’s picked it up and said ‘f*** she was on the phone’.
“And I said ‘you thought you got away with it, didn’t you’.”
When asked if she heard any noise, Ms Enright said she heard a “thump, thump”.
Chris Dane, acting for Christine Lyons, questioned why Ms Enright did not contact police straight away. Ms Kelly was missing from January 20 until February 11, when her body was found buried in bushland west of Bendigo.
Mr Dane said it was a significant conversation to overlook.
“I want to suggest to you that if that conversation took place as you claim, then it would be the first thing you would tell a police officer,” he said.
“It’s not a case of remembering, it’s a case of one of the most significant things that has ever happened in your life.”
John Desmond, representing Ronald Lyons, also questioned Ms Enright about the 11-month delay in reporting the phone call to police.
Ms Enright said she “couldn’t cope”.
“I was going to… I just felt so upset and I cried and all I can remember, I woke up the next day just living life, and didn’t realise,” she said.
“I just started living normal, I just got up the next day.
“I forgot, and then things were just coming back to me.”
Ms Enright was the only witness called on the fourth day of the committal hearing in Bendigo. The hearing continues on Friday.