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Trial begins for man accused of murdering girlfriend’s former lover in botched home robbery

A man charged with murdering his girlfriend’s former lover during a botched home robbery beat the man with a bat and tennis racquet so severely it shattered the weapons, a jury has been told.

Mark “Zeb” Spencer’s bloodied and battered body was found on the back patio of his Coomera home on the Gold Coast on October 1, 2014.

Mark Vincent Dayney has been charged with Mr Spencer’s murder, with the prosecution alleging he caused the injuries while attempting to steal drugs from Mr Spencer’s home.

Mr Dayney on Monday pleaded not guilty to murder on the first day of his trial at Brisbane Supreme Court.

The jury was told Mr Dayney ordered his girlfriend Peta Lorang-Goubran to drive to Mr Spencer’s home in the early hours of the morning of October 1, 2014.

Crown prosecutor David Finch said Ms Lorang-Goubran worked in the adult industry and Mr Spencer – her former lover – had booked a private appointment with her that day.

Mr Finch told the court that Mr Spencer was a known user and source of the drug ice.

Mr Dayney was “seeking a further source” of the drug after he had used it the evening before, Mr Finch told the court.

Mark ‘Zeb’ Spencer suffered substantial injuries.
Camera IconMark ‘Zeb’ Spencer suffered substantial injuries. Credit: Supplied

“Mr Dayney … made it clear he was going to ‘take his (Mr Spencer’s) sh-t’,” Mr Finch said.

Along the way, Mr Dayney covered his face with a T-shirt.

Mr Finch said Ms Lorang-Goubran was told to distract Mr Spencer while Mr Dayney searched for the drugs.

He said a scuffle broke out between the men while Mr Spencer and Ms Lorang-Goubran were sitting on the couch.

Mr Finch said Ms Lorang-Goubran ran outside and the jury would be told that she heard “muffled noises” and Mr Spencer calling out inside the home.

He said the jury would hear evidence a roommate in the home heard a “scream” that he thought he recognised as Mr Spencer’s.

Police would later locate a wooden tennis racquet and baseball bat near Mr Spencer’s body.

He had suffered substantial injuries to his head and scalp.

Mr Finch said part of the racquet head was broken and a part of the “thicker end” of the wooden bat was found a few metres from the body.

A pathologist determined Mr Spencer died from an impairment to his airway, caused by bleeding from the injuries he suffered.

“Police officers spoke to Mr Dayney on November 14 … he was asked directly if he knew anything or had any involvement in the events at Mark Spencer’s home,” Mr Finch said.

“ (Dayney) told police in no uncertain terms he did not and he had never been to that home.”

The trial, before Justice David Jackson, continues.

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