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Qld: Pensioner bashed with machete in case of mistaken ID: court

By Christine Flatley
13 Jan 2009 5:06 PM

BRISBANE, Jan 13 AAP - Two men bashed a pensioner with a machete after mistaking him for a drug dealer they wanted to rob, a court has been told.

Mitchell Clay Dowling and Kyle Tichowitsch stormed the apartment of Yugoslavian-born Stevo (Stevo) Curaj in Brisbane on May 19, 2006 and attacked him with a large machete, the Supreme Court in Brisbane was told on Tuesday.

Mr Curaj, 64, was left severely brain damaged and remains unable to communicate or live independently.

Prosecutor Glen Cash told the court the attack was a case of mistaken identity, and that Dowling and Tichowitsch believed they were robbing and assaulting a drug dealer.

Dowling, 38, denies any involvement in the attack and has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and the lesser alternative charge of grievous bodily harm with intent.

He also has pleaded not guilty to attempted robbery in company with personal violence.

The jury has not been told whether Tichowitsch has faced court over similar allegations.

Mr Cash said the case against Dowling was largely circumstantial and that there were no witnesses who saw him attack Mr Curaj.

However, he said there were a number of elements that would convince the jury of his guilt.

Mr Cash said the court would hear forensic evidence that Mr Curaj's blood was found on Dowling's clothes and that police found a machete with his initials hidden under grass clippings at Tichowitsch's home.

The court was told Tichowitsch was allegedly seen cleaning the blade shortly after neighbours found Mr Curaj bleeding in his home.

Mr Cash said two men were seen running from Mr Curaj's apartment and climbing into a truck with a sticker reading "Bob" on the rear.

The court was told the truck belonged to Dowling, who was later allegedly seen trying to remove the sticker.

Mr Cash told the court police found parts of the sticker in Tichowitsch's home.

The trial is expected to run for one week.