Tom Price man found guilty of Ferndale murder

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Tom Price man Shane Frederick James Josephs, 46, has been found guilty of murdering his former brother-in-law.
Camera IconTom Price man Shane Frederick James Josephs, 46, has been found guilty of murdering his former brother-in-law. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A Pilbara man who stabbed his former brother-in-law in the throat before fleeing the scene, buying a beer and burying the weapon was last week found guilty of murder.

Shane Frederick James Josephs, 46, killed his ex-partner’s brother, Rhys Kelly, by inflicting a single stab wound to his neck after arriving at his Ferndale doorstep on April 3 last year.

Josephs, of Tom Price, admitted the stabbing but claimed at his Supreme Court trial last week that he was not guilty of murder because he did not go to the property intending to kill or hurt the 25-year-old.

However, after hearing three days of evidence, a jury convicted Josephs of the charge.

During the trial, prosecutor Nicholas Cogin said Josephs had a “long-term dislike” for Mr Kelly, whom he believed was providing his 17-year-old daughter and 19-year-old son with drugs.

Josephs had travelled to Perth from Tom Price in the days before Mr Kelly’s death to visit his daughter, who was in hospital after an overdose.

He had also visited his son in prison.

On the night of the killing, Josephs finished three bottles of beer before tracking down Mr Kelly’s address.

When Mr Kelly, whom Josephs had not seen since he was a child, identified himself at the door, Josephs stabbed him once in the throat with what Mr Cogin described as a “forceful blow”.

Josephs then turned around and drove away, stopping at a drive-through bottle shop to buy a can of beer, before going to his father’s house, burying the knife and falling asleep outside in his swag. He woke to police early the next day.

In an interview with detectives, Josephs claimed he went to the house to threaten Mr Kelly to stay away from his children and “didn’t go there to kill him”.

He said he took the knife with him for protection against the “junkie-type people” he believed lived at the property.

“There was no thought in it, I was going to find him to threaten him, and that was it,” he said.

“I didn’t want to f…… kill him, I know that.”

Josephs openly revealed where the murder weapon was buried.

He claimed he thought he had hit Mr Kelly with the butt of the knife and did not know that he was dead until he was charged on suspicion of murder.

Josephs is due to be sentenced in June.

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