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Kon Kritikos’s telling last words before death

A woman’s bloodied footprint will be vital evidence that she murdered an elderly man in Melbourne nearly two years ago, a court has been.

On November 11, 2020, Kon Kritikos, 87, was found with critical injuries in his home on Reynard St, Coburg, and died as a result of them two weeks later in hospital.

Danielle Lee Birchall, who the Supreme Court was told on Friday was in a long-term, on-again off-again relationship with Mr Kritikos’s son, is charged with his murder.

In a bail application, prosecutors said there was a “very strong” case against Ms Birchall that included a bloodied footprint found inside Mr Kritikos’s home that matched Ms Birchall’s feet.

The court was also told that Mr Kritikos, when he was found by a relative, uttered the words “aftin, aftin aftin” – or “her, her, her” – in Greek.

Kon Kritikos was alone in his Coburg home when he was allegedly murdered by his son’s on-again, off-again partner.
Camera IconKon Kritikos was alone in his Coburg home when he was allegedly murdered by his son’s on-again, off-again partner. Credit: Supplied

Prosecutors said there was a motive for the murder, in that Ms Birchall needed money to pay for a car.

They said phone records placed her in the area at the time of Mr Kritikos’s alleged murder, and her car was seen driving down Reynard St in Pascoe Vale at 8.33pm that evening.

Mr Kritikos’ neighbours, Jonathan Evans and Emily Thompson, also heard a series of loud thuds and groans, prosecutors said.

They were so concerned for their neighbour’s welfare that they went to his house, prosecutors said, and were allegedly told by Ms Birchall that Mr Kritikos was “upset”.

But the defence, in applying for Ms Birchall’s bail, described the case as “weak.”

They said the alleged evidence that placed Ms Birchall at the address would be challenged, and she was suffering in prison due to an unspecified mental impairment.

They said Ms Birchall had been in a relationship with Mr Kritikos’s son that had since ceased.

Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth said it was “a very strong case” against Ms Birchall.

Justice Hollingworth, in denying bail, said Ms Birchall didn’t possess the exceptional circumstances that would justify bail.

She said the “prosecution case is far from weak. Indeed it’s a strong case.”

Last year, Detective Inspector Tim Day said Mr Kritikos was vulnerable and home alone when he was allegedly murdered.

“This was an incredibly violent attack on one of the most vulnerable members of the community,” Mr Day said.

A trial is listed for June next year.

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