'Angry little man’ – accused killer pings neighbour for Mangerton man’s injuries

REST IN PEACE: A scrawled message honours Mark Dower at the entryway to the laundry where his remains were found. Picture: Sylvia Liber
REST IN PEACE: A scrawled message honours Mark Dower at the entryway to the laundry where his remains were found. Picture: Sylvia Liber

A man accused of detaining and murdering Mark Dower over a $1690 sum has pinged several of his neighbours as the possible cause of the Mangerton pensioner's serious injuries.

Mark Jenkin returned to the witness stand for the third day, Friday, as a Supreme Court sitting in Wollongong considers the demise of 56-year-old Mr Dower, whose remains were found inside a surfboard bag stored in a laundry at Crana Place on April 16, 2015. 

Jenkin has attributed Mr Dower’s extensive injuries to various causes, including aggressive neighbours and a heavy, unprompted fall he claims he witnessed Mr Dower take inside his apartment on March 23 that year. 

He claims the deceased once disclosed a neighbour had “flogged” him, and said another man reported the same neighbour had stomped on Mr Dower’s head. 

Under cross-examination on Friday Jenkin denied Crown suggestions it was he who jumped on Mr Dower’s head. 

“If I did that I’d be the lowest person in the world. I knew he couldn’t defend himself ... “ he said. 

Countering Crown suggestions the neighbour and another man who associated with Mr Dower were “harmless alcoholics”, Jenkin described one as “an angry little man who tries to bash and stab people when he’s pissed” and said the other as “the same. I’ve seen him go to attack [Mr Dower]”. 

A court order prohibits the publication of a long list of Crown witness’s names, including these neighbours. 

A witness earlier told the court Jenkin had admitted to hitting Mr Dower, causing him to fall back and hit his head. Jenkin also admitted to having given Mr Dower a shot of heroin, the witness claimed. 

But Jenkin described the witness as “a dog”. “He gave evidence against a murderer before and I wouldn’t tell him anything.” 

The Crown alleges Jenkin and and another man took Mr Dower from a neighbour’s unit, detained him, gave him a shot of heroin and assaulted him before filming him injured and semi-lucid in the bathroom at Jenkin’s flat on March 22, 2015.  

They allege Jenkin repeatedly took money from Mr Dower and that he was strong-arming him into falsely telling authorities that $1690 seized as proceeds of crime was legitimately Jenkin’s. 

In earlier testimony, Jenkin told the court he once studied human movement at university alongside future doctors, in the hope of having a career in rehabilitation. 

“That would be more fulfilling for me, getting someone walking. That’s actually helping people – that’s what my heart was always about,” he said. 

He told the court he could bench-press 360 pounds, and his fighting prowess was widely admired, but denied it was he Mr Dower had been refering to when he disclosed he had been assaulted by a martial arts expert. 

“I never put my hands on him. Did he say Mark Jenkin did it?”  

The Crown suggested the video footage filmed on March 22, in which Jenkin angrily berates Mr Dower, showed Jenkin’s “normal approach” to Mr Dower. 

“Nooo. It’s all because he’s sh-t everywhere,” replied Jenkin, who earlier told how Mr Dower had lost control of his bowels in his apartment, while in his unwell state. 

The Crown asked: “Doesn’t it show you to be aggressive and violent towards Mark Dower, and not his guardian angel?”. 

Jenkin denied this. 

The trial continues.