"I KNEW I was dying, I was bleeding out".
That's what Gympie's Timothy Udris told a jury yesterday during day two of a trial to determine whether Glen Reginald Francis had murder in his mind when he attacked the father of three with a hammer.
Mr Udris's skull was shattered and his brain left exposed when he got into a fight with Mr Francis after a doomed trip to Hervey Bay in June 2014.
He told Brisbane Supreme Court on Wednesday that in the days leading up to the attack he was warned by former associate Terry McEwan that Mr Udris was the target of a "hit" and a man known as "Dizzy", who Mr Udris understood was Mr Francis, was looking for him.
He claimed an associate had also told him his wife Emily and their children were to be doused in kerosene and "burnt alive".
Asked why he agreed to drive Mr McEwan and Mr Francis to Hervey Bay if he was fearful for his life, Mr Udris said he had suspicions something was going to go wrong but agreed because he was the only one with a driver's licence and he believed that if he helped the two men out as a "mate" it would pay off.
He rejected claims made by defence barrister Harry Fong that the purpose of the trip was to drop Mr Francis off so he could visit his brother at a Urangan resort and insisted the trio were in Hervey Bay to source pseudoephedrine from a "box supplier" for the purpose of cooking the drug "ice".
He admitted to knowing how to cook ice but insisted his experimentation was fuelled by "more of an interest in chemistry" than a plan to build a profitable business to fund his disputed drug habit.
When it was suggested he was making a profit of about $100,000 a week as a result of his cooking skills, Mr Udris said, "I wish". Questioned about how he had managed to almost pay off a $320,000 mortgage on a disability pension, Mr Udris said his mother had bought the home for him and his family.
Mr Francis has admitted to causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Udris but pleaded not guilty to attempted murder.
The court heard Mr Udris was an experienced martial arts cage fighter who was fit and just weeks away from a title fight when the attack occurred in Mr McEwan's home.
The cause of the fight, which broke out when the trio returned from Hervey Bay to Gympie, and the number of blows dealt with the hammer are disputed.
Mr Fong alleged that it was only when Mr Francis was "snap kicked" that he reached for the hammer but Mr Udris disagreed.
He then put it to Mr Udris that he had only been struck once with the hammer.
Mr Udris replied, "You come over here and have a feel of my head and you tell me that's one hit".
Mr Udris said he believed he was dying when he woke up on Mr McEwan's lounge room floor and saw the pool of blood around him but the knowledge his family was waiting at home spurred him on to get up and "stumble" to his car.
"I knew I was dying, I was bleeding out. When I wiped my face I wiped blood into my eyes and I couldn't see anything," Mr Udris said.
"I got into my car and drove off as fast as I could to see my kids and my wife before I died."
The trial continues.
- ARM NEWSDESK
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