Sydney Morning Herald

Girlfriend's rape claim doubtful, says killer

By Sarah Crichton
October 2 2002
Sydney Morning Herald

A teenager who has pleaded guilty to the stabbing murder of a young man last year said yesterday that he had inflicted only one of the 13 stab wounds.

In a halting monotone, enhanced by the antidepressant medication a prison doctor has prescribed, Matthew McLean told the Supreme Court he initially believed his then 15-year-old girlfriend when she told him Stephen Tonkiss had raped her.

Both McLean and the girl have pleaded guilty to murdering Mr Tonkiss in a frenzied knife attack that spilled from his car and into a street in Seaforth on July 24 last year. Mr Tonkiss, 21, died in Manly Hospital.

Asked what he now felt about the murder, the former Pizza Hut worker, who lived a short distance from where the attack occurred, said: "I feel very sad about it ... I'm pretty sure that she never got raped by him ... apparently it wasn't at all what she said it was."

McLean, now 19, took the witness box at an emotionally charged hearing for submissions on the pair's murder sentences at which two blood-stained kitchen knives were produced.

Copyright © 2002. The Sydney Morning Herald