The close friend of a man who overdosed and died has told a Wagga court that the woman charged with his manslaughter was supposed to take him to hospital.
Tracy Lee Dowling, 41, was arrested and charged with manslaughter four years after 20-year-old Cootamundra man Luke Doyle was found dead outside her home on March 13, 2012.
On Friday, close friend Luke Collins recalled finding out about his death later that day when Ms Dowling phoned him.
“She said ‘we lost Lukey … I found him out the front this morning’,” Mr Collins said.
“She said not to tell anyone because the police were at her house and stuff, and she didn’t want anyone to know, and I said I was going to tell all my friends and all Luke’s friends.”
Mr Collins then got on the phone with Matthew Hennock, who had been with them the night before.
“He told me that he’s seen Luke and that something wasn’t right and they tried to slap him across the face to wake him up and help him, and then he told me they were going to try and put him in [Tracy’s] ute and drive him to the hospital,” Mr Collins said.
“I think he said that he was going to drive to the hospital, but Tracy wouldn’t let him, so he went inside to get his stuff or something and Tracy drove off.
“He told me that he was yelling out to her to stop or something, and then he went up to the hospital to see if they were there, but he said they weren’t.”
Earlier in the trial, the court heard Ms Dowling had in fact driven Mr Doyle to her own home, where he was found dead hours later at the food of the car door, which was covered in his vomit.
Crown prosecutors argued Ms Dowling assumed a duty of care over Mr Doyle when she took him to her home and became “criminally responsible” for his death when she failed to get him medical attention.
On Friday, Mr Doyle’s then-girlfriend Jade Berkrey recalled the symptoms he would show whenever he took Xanax, one of the drugs he is suspected to have taken the night before he died.
“Sometimes, he’d take it in combination with other drugs, but it affected him quite badly, so I tried not to give it to him if he was on anything,” Ms Berkrey said.
“He would get very vacant, he’d fall asleep quite often, you’d sort of have to get him up and get him moving a lot, and sometimes he would just freak out and not know where he was.”
The trial continues.
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