Two women have told the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court that they had used too many prescription drugs to remember the details of a shooting which left a young father dead.
- Brittany McGuire and Shanae Pericic appeared in court after refusing to provide police with a statement
- The pair said they were hazy on the details of the shooting because they had been drinking and using Valium
- Ms Pericic swore at the victim’s mother in court
Ben Togiai, 30, was gunned down outside the Melbourne Pavilion in Kensington, in Melbourne’s inner north-west, in March 2019 as a boxing fight night was going on inside.
The young father was shot at the front of the building and died at the scene.
Melbourne men Abdullah El Nasher, Osamma Allouche and Mikhael Myko have been charged with his murder.
Ali El Nasher has been charged with attempted murder.
Abdullah El Nasher’s girlfriend, Brittany McGuire, and her best friend, Shanae Pericic, appeared in court at a hearing to answer questions after refusing to provide police with a statement.
The accused men appeared via videolink.
Ms McGuire, whose mother is the ex-girlfriend of convicted drug lord Tony Mokbel, and Ms Pericic both said they were hazy on the details.
“I take a lot of Valiums and Xanax for depression, I don’t remember much,” Ms McGuire told the court.
“I was very ‘vallied’ at that stage,” Ms Pericic said, referring to the drug Valium.
“All I remember, I was very tipsy, I was very drunk.
“I just remember seeing everyone screaming and yelling and people pulling other people back inside.”
Crown prosecutor Neill Hutton asked Ms Pericic how much she had had to drink.
“Honestly I was drinking straight scotch, bottles of wine, mixed with the Valium,” she said.
“Is that how you party, take Valium and alcohol?” asked Mr Hutton.
“Yeah,” she said, as the men on the videolink laughed.
Ms Pericic told the court that when she returned to her table during the boxing, everyone was gone.
She said she walked outside and saw people yelling and screaming.
“Then I seen someone pointing something at Brittany and Myko,” she said, referring to Ms McGuire and Mikhael Myko, one of the co-accused.
“I’m not sure who it was.”
Mr Hutton asked her what it was she saw.
“I’m not sure,” she said.
“What do you see Brittany do in response?” asked Mr Hutton.
“I just heard her scream,” Ms Pericic said.
Ms Pericic said Horty Mokbel, who is Tony Mokbel’s brother, then came to her rescue and dragged her back inside the building.
Hearing delayed as witnesses seek legal advice
Earlier, Mr Togiai’s mother burst into tears after Ms Pericic told her to “shut the f*** up”.
Ms Pericic and Ms McGuire left the victim’s family and the court waiting for hours as they deliberated whether to make a statement or be questioned by the court.
When summoned to explain herself, Ms McGuire told the magistrate she was waiting for advice.
“It won’t be long,” she said.
“My mum’s organising it now.”
The pair then left the building and had a cigarette break before returning to court, where they were greeted by the accused.
The men laughed and nodded at the pair from the videolink, and one made a gesture of a telephone.
Ms Pericic then blew a kiss at one of them.
It was then that tensions boiled over, almost two hours after the women were due to give evidence.
As they left the courtroom to wait for their lawyer, Mr Togiai’s father made a comment to the women.
Ms Pericic then responded, “Shut the f*** up”, causing his mother to burst into tears.
She later told the court she was simply touching her nose.
The hearing continues.