'You can't take the blame' in murder trial

Jamie Phillips' naked and beaten body was left in a vacant lot near Campbelltown.
Jamie Phillips' naked and beaten body was left in a vacant lot near Campbelltown.

One of three alleged murderers who confessed that he stabbed a man in self-defence was urged by his family not to take the blame for someone else, a jury has heard.

Phone conversations recorded while Sean David O'Keefe, 39, was in custody were played before the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday.

"You can't take the blame for someone else," O'Keefe's mother is heard telling her son.

"You better tell the truth or you're being silly."

O'Keefe, Barry Paul Cavanagh, and Nathan McIvor, both 38, have all pleaded not guilty to murdering Campbelltown man Jamie Phillips in October 2018.

After arguing about it "for hours" Mr Phillips' naked and beaten body was left in a vacant lot in Glen Alpine near Campbelltown.

Forensic evidence from all three men was found at the crime scene.

Later in custody O'Keefe had a conversation with his partner at the time who told him co-operating with authorities and telling the truth early on would have improved his outcome.

"What should have been done and what was done are two different things ... I can see that now," he says.

"As soon as it all happened ... should have stayed there and rang the f***ing ambulance ... but you panic when drugs are involved.

"The only part I'll get in trouble for is moving the body.

"When the truth all comes out at court it'll all fall into place."

The Crown suggests all three men worked together in a joint criminal enterprise to cause grievous bodily harm to Mr Phillips through a sustained physical assault which ended in Cavanagh pulling out the knife.

O'Keefe was pressured to put up his hand and believed he would be "looked after by the other boys" if he did, the Crown submits.

But O'Keefe's lawyer Richard Pontello SC said the other two accused were not in the room when O'Keefe, armed with a large hunting knife, reacted to a sudden lunge from Mr Phillips by stabbing him in self-defence.

The trial continues.

Australian Associated Press