Five chilling words the alleged murder victim told his friends just before his throat was slit are revealed – as the accused knifeman pleads not guilty to the gruesome murder
- Benjamin Suttie, 37, died after having his neck severed in Woodridge in Logan, QLD
- He was walking with others in Prince Park and saw another group in August 2018
- An altercation ensued and Mr. Suttie’s throat was slit. He died days later
- Harley David Wegener, 34, reportedly pulled a knife and cut his neck twice
- Wegener pleaded not guilty to his murder in Brisbane Supreme Court
When Benjamin Suttie saw people approaching in a park south of Brisbane late at night, he is said to have said to his group, ‘It’s Woodridge, get behind me’.
Shortly afterwards, his throat was slit. Three days later he was dead.
Harley David Wegener, 34, pleaded not guilty to murder in the Brisbane Supreme Court after Suttie’s neck was severed by a ‘scalpel-like’ weapon in Woodridge in August 2018.
Suttie, 37, died days after a major artery was severed in the Prince Park altercation.
The court heard that his blood alcohol level was 0.268 the night he was stabbed in a two-group encounter.
Defense attorney Joseph Briggs said Mr. Suttie’s intoxicated decision to lead his group into danger in a dangerous neighborhood may have been an error of judgment.
Benjamin Suttie (pictured), 37, died after having his throat cut with a knife in an altercation in a park in Woodridge, Queensland
“I mean no disrespect to the men and women of that place, but it seems there is danger in Woodridge,” he told the jury.
“Mr. Suttie actually said the same thing.”
Suttie saw five people approaching the park and told his four-member group to get behind him and protect themselves because they were in Woodridge, the court heard.
“If he’d been sober, you’d think he’d have said, ‘It’s Woodridge… let’s just go back,'” Mr Briggs said.
“But instead… he said, let’s move on… to this identified potential danger.”
Crown Prosecutor Greg Cummings, however, disagreed, saying that Suttie’s instincts — tragically — turned out to be right that night.
“My learned friend says Ben might have made a mistake in judgment when he (his group) told them to find out — well, he would effectively be dead in 10 minutes, so his judgment was pretty good, wasn’t it?” he told the jury.
Harley David Wegener (pictured), 34, pleaded not guilty to Suttie’s murder in the Brisbane Supreme Court. He claims that Mr. Suttie initiated the fight
The Crown claims that when Mr Suttie walked past Wegener’s group, he asked in a friendly tone ‘how are you guys’.
A man in the other group who was allegedly Wegener replied, “You getting cheeky c***?”.
Mr Suttie is then said to have said ‘No, nothing like that mate, I’m just trying to say hello’.
Wegener then walked over to Mr. Suttie, took an object from his bag and slashed his face, cutting him under the eye, the Crown claims.
Wegener lunged again, aiming at Mr Suttie’s throat and “hit home with the second blow,” severing the carotid artery before fleeing, the court heard.
Mr. Suttie lost so much blood that his heart could no longer pump out of the wound and he would need surgery within minutes to survive, the jury was told.
The alleged altercation took place when Mr Suttie’s group passed another group in Prince Park in August 2018 (pictured, the scene where Mr Suttie was allegedly attacked)
Briggs said Wegener wasn’t looking for a fight and that it was a chance meeting that escalated into a physical exchange.
Wegener said he slipped after Mr Suttie started a fistfight and discovered his 12-inch knife had fallen from his pocket.
Wegener told the court he used a hand holding his knife on its side with the blade pointed the other way to push on Mr. Suttie in an attempt to fend him off and get him back on his feet.
He tried not to sting and only carried what he described as a sharp fishing knife for his own safety after being knocked unconscious with a fence that faded and was robbed.
But Mr Cummings said Wegener’s account “doesn’t match the facts,” with medical evidence showing Mr Suttie’s injuries were caused by two slashing movements.
The trial for Judge Melanie Hindman continues.