As an actor, Blake Davis had handled a prop pistol while playing a police officer on TV comedies Housos and Fat Pizza.
But he told his murder trial on Thursday he’d never seen – let alone used – a real gun when the balaclava-clad Jett McKee stormed into his Sydney unit in August 2018 and pointed a silver pistol in his face.
“[It looked] real,” Davis told the NSW Supreme Court jury.
“He was wearing all completely dark clothing … and held the gun out straight and said ‘give me all your f—ing money or I’ll kill you’.”
Mr Davis, 31, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr McKee, who he struck in the head with a samurai sword shortly after the intruder fled the Forest Lodge unit.
Mr Davis’ girlfriend, Hannah Quinn, has pleaded not guilty to being an accessory after the fact. She had also faced a charge of murder, as part of a joint criminal enterprise with Mr Davis, but the trial judge ordered her acquittal on Thursday morning on the basis there was legally no case to answer.
Justice Natalie Adams told the jury she was “satisfied as a matter of law there is no case of murder against [Ms Quinn] … for you to consider”.
Justice Adams said it might “seem odd to you that I’ve directed you to bring back that verdict” but the jury was required to follow any direction of law she gave.
Entering the witness box on Thursday, Mr Davis said he woke late on the day of Mr McKee’s death to Ms Quinn sitting on his bed passing him a coffee and food.
Within a second of Ms Quinn telling him about a man outside the unit, they heard the sliding glass door open.
Ms Quinn screamed and Mr Davis jumped out of bed wearing just boxers before the couple confronted the gun-toting intruder outside the bedroom, Mr Davis said.
Threats were made to their family before Mr Davis said he shouted a reply of “there’s no money here” in the hope neighbours would hear.
The gunman then pointed the gun at Ms Quinn, the jury heard.
“I had my hands up and then the fear of me being shot went out the window because I thought I was about to see her get shot,” Mr Davis said.
Shortly thereafter Mr Davis heard a metal-on-metal sound, jumped and woke up on the ground with pain across the left side of his head.
“I thought I’d been shot because I (touched my cheek) and there was a lot of blood,” he said.
The trial has heard Ms Quinn saw Mr McKee put on knuckle-dusters and punch her boyfriend in the face.
Mr Davis said he felt dizzy and was only able to see slightly from his right eye.
He heard Ms Quinn scream and thought she was about to be shot.
“That was probably the biggest moment of terror for me because when I woke up they weren’t there,” he said.
“I remember thinking ‘I have to save Hannah, I have to save Hannah’…. it was like an alarm going off in my head.”
The trial has heard Mr McKee was chased 100 metres from the Forest Lodge home by Ms Quinn.
The Crown alleges Ms Quinn pulled Mr McKee to his knees before Mr Davis ran over and struck Mr McKee with the samurai sword.
Prosecutor Chris Taylor said there was no justification for the 30-year-old’s slaying “as unwanted … as that home invasion and robbery must have been”.
Ms Quinn allegedly shouted “what the f— have you done?” after Mr Davis delivered the fatal blow.
The sword was a gift from Mr Davis’ older brother and had been on display in his home, the trial was told on Thursday.
The jury has heard the couple stayed at hotels over the following weekend before a solicitor arranged for them to go to a police station on Monday, August 13.
Mr Davis’ barrister, Margaret Cunneen SC, has argued he acted in defence of Ms Quinn.
The trial continues.