Alexis Jeffery.
Alexis Jeffery. Contributed

Murder accused takes witness stand at Toowoomba trial

THE man accused of killing Goondiwindi mother Alexis Jeffery has taken the witness stand at his Toowoomba Supreme Court trial.

Robert Ian Trebeck has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Ms Jeffery, 25, whose body was found on the banks of the Macintyre River at Goondiwindi on March 16, 2014.

Opening the defence case, Trebeck's barrister Ben Power told the jury his client would acknowledge that he had initially lied to police when first spoken to about the death of Ms Jeffery but that he had lied out of panic, fearing he would be accused of her murder.

Police had told him they believed he was the last person to be seen with Ms Jeffery.

However, as the defence had put to the jury earlier in the trial, Trebeck, 37, had admitted to having been intimate with Ms Jeffery on the river bank that morning when another man, Daniel Rowsell, who had shown interest in Ms Jeffery throughout that night, had arrived.

Trebeck claims he had been on top of Ms Jeffery when Daniel Rowsell approached saying "Trebeck, you're gone" before delivering a kick which struck Ms Jeffery in the head.

Trebeck said he then stood up and ran off, fearing any physical confrontation as he had a plate surgically inserted in his face due to facial injuries at the time.

He said he hadn't thought Ms Jeffery was badly injured but he deleted the text messages between them and had lost her mobile number and so hadn't contacted her later.

He had not tried to contact her by Facebook either as he had feared his fiance would find out about his infidelity that night.

He told the court he had met Ms Jeffery through a mutual Facebook friend and they had exchanged more than 300 texts and Facebook messages in the two weeks leading up to that weekend which had been the first time the pair had met face to face.

EARLIER: Robert Ian Trebeck had made what he thought to be an anonymous call to Crime Stoppers accusing his sister and her partner of the murder of Alexis Jeffery.

During evidence from arresting officer Detective Sergeant Brett Richard, Toowoomba Supreme Court heard that ordinarily calls to Crime Stoppers were not recorded.

However, because he was a "person of interest" in the murder, accused Robert Ian Trebeck's phone had been monitored and his call to Crime Stoppers on June 9, 2014, had been recorded.

In that recording, which was played to the court, Trebeck is heard telling the Crime Stoppers operator that "the person of interest" was not involved in the murder and that "he has been set up".

Asked by whom the person of interest had been set up, Trebeck said "by one local and one out of towner".

"They (police) need to look closer at his family," he was recorded as saying.

Trebeck then tells the operator that the person of interest's sister and brother-in-law had been married a few weeks after the murder and had since moved overseas.

He also claimed that shoes the person of interest had been wearing that night had been taken and disposed of as part of setting him up.

Det. Sgt Richard said "reef boots" allegedly worn by Trebeck that night had never been found and that early into the investigation police had used the media to put the word out that investigators were looking for a particular pair of shoes.

The Crown case is that Ms Jeffery had been strangled with the leg of her own jeans which were found stained with her blood two days later in a hedge near the crime scene.

The court has heard Trebeck's DNA had been found on those jeans as well as various part of Ms Jeffery's body.

The now 38-year-old was arrested and charged with murder two weeks after the Crime Stoppers call, Detective Sgt Richard told the court.

The trial before Justice Ann Lyons continues.