A man has been committed to stand trial in the NSW Supreme Court after pleading not guilty to murdering his "long-term friend" in Bellambi the week before Christmas 2022.
"You're Paul John Cairney?" Magistrate Les Mabbutt asked the man on the screen.
"Yep," Cairney responded quietly, as he dialled into Wollongong Local Court from Long Bay Correctional Complex on Wednesday. The 52-year-old pleaded not guilty to a single count of murder.
Documents previously tendered in court state an argument erupted between Cairney and the deceased, Jason Smith, at a Turner Esplanade property on the evening of December 18, 2022.
It's alleged the pair began throwing punches at one another before the ordeal escalated when Cairney grabbed a "large knife" and stabbed Smith at the base of his neck.
Smith collapsed onto the roadway and bled profusely.
Paramedics attempted to revive Smith however he was declared dead at the scene about 7.30pm. A crime scene was set up as efforts began to find Cairney who allegedly fled.
He was arrested at his Tressider Place address about 10pm that evening.
Court papers state Cairney claimed to police in an interview that he acted in self-defence. Cairney maintained this in a previous bail application where he told the court "he attacked me first".
The court previously heard Cairney and Smith had been friends since the age of 13.
The magistrate told Cairney he was committed for trial in the Supreme Court and he responded "thank you" before exiting the audio-visual link suite.
Cairney will be arraigned on December 8.
Read more Illawarra court and crime stories here.
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