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Vic woman accused of footstool murder

AAP logoAAP 15/11/2016 Caitlin Guilfoyle

A Melbourne woman allegedly murdered her on-off partner with a footstool after years of regular, drunken fights.

Gayle Dunlop is on trial charged with murdering 63-year-old John Reed after an argument in a Seaford unit last year.

Senior crown prosecutor Nanette Rogers SC said the pair - who have one daughter - drank excessively in the years leading up to Mr Reed's death, and verbal or physical confrontations would often ensue.

Neighbours reported hearing yelling, screaming and swearing, and the 60-year-old Dunlop had been seen with bruises, the Victorian Supreme Court heard.

Police and ambulance were also called to altercations, Dr Rogers said on Tuesday.

On one occasion, Dunlop had a wound to the back of her head and told paramedics she thought her ex-partner was going to kill her, the court was told.

Neighbours allegedly heard shouting and slamming coming from the Seaford unit on the night of the incident in July last year, followed by a noise "like someone crashing about".

The prosecution alleges Dunlop hit Mr Reed with the footstool and then called Triple-zero to request an ambulance, saying he'd had a fall.

Dunlop told paramedics she didn't know where or how Mr Reed fell, and later told police she had gone to bed, woken up and found Mr Reed lying on the ground, the court heard.

She spoke to her sister after the alleged attack, telling her that police and ambulance had been there, and that Mr Reed was bleeding from the head.

"You don't know what I've gone through, nobody knows what I've gone through," Dunlop allegedly told her sister.

Defence barrister, Shane Gardner, said Dunlop admitted hitting Mr Reed with the stool, and accepted it caused his death.

But self-defence would be a primary issue, he said.

"Can the prosecution satisfy you that when Gayle Dunlop hit Mr Reed, she wasn't acting in lawful self-defence?" Mr Gardner asked the jury.

The trial continues.

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