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James Michael Greenup: Trial begins for former taxi driver accused of slashing passenger’s throat with machete

Lachlan AllenMidwest Times
Former Geraldton taxi driver James Michael Greenup, accused of slashing passenger with machete, leaving Geraldton Courthouse last year.
Camera IconFormer Geraldton taxi driver James Michael Greenup, accused of slashing passenger with machete, leaving Geraldton Courthouse last year. Credit: Geraldton Guardian

A former Geraldton taxi driver accused of slicing a passenger’s throat with a machete last year before leaving him for dead claims the weapon “accidentally” came into contact with the alleged victim’s neck.

The Geraldton District Court trial of James Michael Greenup started on Monday, where he is contesting a charge of causing grievous bodily harm to Charlie Collard in the early hours of March 21, 2021, at Beresford.

An emotional Mr Collard took to the witness stand on day one of the trial, telling the jury how he was left in a pool of blood.

State prosecutor Gary Huggins said Mr Collard was picked up by Mr Greenup at about 1.40am after a night out at the Freemasons Hotel.

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The court was told Mr Collard shared the ride with two other passengers, a couple heading to the Broadwater Mariner Resort, and he planned to continue the fare to his home in Glenfield.

After dropping the couple off, Mr Greenup and Mr Collard got into a disagreement and was told to leave the taxi.

After trying to convince the driver to take him home, it’s alleged Mr Greenup became heated and stated, “get the f... out of the cab you c.... or I’ll make you piss.”

It’s then alleged Mr Greenup pulled out a 60cm machete and struck Mr Collard to the left side of his neck, piercing his jugular vein.

Mr Collard alleges Mr Greenup then reversed back, and he was dragged along the ground underneath the car.

“I remember looking him in the eyes, saying help me without saying anything,” Mr Collard said.

Mr Greenup is then alleged to have driven off, leaving Mr Collard laying in a pool of blood.

The machete was later found that day hidden under a couch in Mr Greenup’s unit.

He told police he kept it in his home for protection, after denying carrying the weapon in his taxi.

A visibly distressed Mr Collard said he made a conscious decision that he wasn’t going to die that night.

“I knew the next decision I made could be my last, if I didn’t make the right one,” he said.

He saw a yellow light flickering in a nearby house and tapped on the door, stating “help me I’m bleeding out”.

A woman inside the house, who did not wish to open the door out of fear, called an ambulance.

Mr Collard described the out-of-body experience that followed him passing out, stating that he was looking down at himself thinking “who’s that” before realising “s..t, that’s me”.

After waking up in the ambulance he was taken to Geraldton Regional Hospital and then flown to Royal Perth Hospital for surgery.

Mr Collard spent three days in ICU and the next fortnight in hospital.

Defence lawyer George Giudice admitted that Mr Greenup’s machete accidentally came into contact with Mr Collard’s neck.

However, he questioned the amount of alcohol Mr Collard consumed on the night and accused him of punching Mr Greenup in the face.

Mr Collard denied punching the taxi driver, stating “it did not happen sir.”

The trial continues.

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