A father has told a courtroom how his female boss gloated about murdering an autistic teenager and provided graphic details as they stacked shelves at a Perth supermarket.
Matthew Stray described a bizarre shift at a Woolworths store when his supervisor, Jemma Victoria Lilley, approached him in an aisle and said “I did it!”
When he questioned her she was excited as she told him, “I did it, I killed someone”, Mr Stray told a jury in the Supreme Court of Western Australia on Friday.
Lilley and Trudi Clare Lenon, 43, are on trial before a jury after pleading not guilty to murdering 18-year-old Aaron Pajich on June 13 last year.
Mr Stray said Lilley had described to him how she tried to garrotte him with a wire but “it didn’t go to plan”. Lilley, who collected knives, then allegedly described in graphic detail how she used a knife to kill Mr Pajich.
Several people in court connected to Mr Pajich were shaken and in tears during Mr Stray’s evidence.
Lilley later tried to backtrack via a text message saying she was a “convincing storyteller”.
He told her he didn’t condone it, but liked her and “didn’t want things to change”, but told Lilley’s lawyer John Prior he said that because he was afraid of her and worried for his wife and children.
When Mr Prior suggested to Mr Stray that he was mistaken in his memory, he said: “It’s not really one of those things that you forget.”
She also had an injured arm with scratches and bruises, and showed Mr Stray a picture of Mr Pajich on a missing persons website as well as a picture of a jester tattoo she wanted to get to symbolise the murder.
He described being shaken and afraid about what to do after she had made a veiled threat, saying “I don’t think you will tell anyone but if you did I would have to make that problem go away”.
Mr Stray described her as a boss who said strange things, that staff were afraid of and who sent him too many text messages, but he wanted to stay on her “good side” as he needed the work.
He went into work several days later and discovered Lilley had been charged with murder. The next day he went to the police.
“Everyone was in shock that our boss has possibly done this terrible thing,” he said.
Mr Pajich was found under a freshly-laid slab of concrete in Ms Lilleys back yard.
Lenon denies murdering Pajich, who she knew from college, but admits lying to police and being an accessory after the fact.