Declan Laverty, 20, was working at BWS drive-through bottle shop in Jingili, Darwin, when he was allegedly stabbed multiple times by a teenage customer

A security guard has revealed the heartbreaking final words of a young bottle shop worker who died in his arms after he was allegedly stabbed by a teenager. 

Declan Laverty, 20, was minutes away from finishing his shift at the Airport Tavern BWS drive-through bottle shop in Jingili, Darwin, Northern Territory, just before 9pm on March, 19, 2023, when he was allegedly stabbed multiple times. 

Keith Kerinauia, 19, allegedly stabbed Mr Laverty multiple times after he was refused service and fled the scene in a blue 2014 Toyota Camry. 

Kerinauia entered a not guilty plea on the basis of self defence after police charged him with one count of murder and one count of aggravated robbery. 

During the second day of his murder trial on Tuesday, security guard Rifat Mahmud told the Supreme Court in Darwin he saw Mr Laverty being stabbed. 

Declan Laverty, 20, was working at BWS drive-through bottle shop in Jingili, Darwin, when he was allegedly stabbed multiple times by a teenage customer

Declan Laverty, 20, was working at BWS drive-through bottle shop in Jingili, Darwin, when he was allegedly stabbed multiple times by a teenage customer 

BWS Airport Tavern security guard Rifat Mahmud (centre) tried desperately to save Ms Laverty and revealed the worker's final words to the Supreme Court in Darwin

BWS Airport Tavern security guard Rifat Mahmud (centre) tried desperately to save Ms Laverty and revealed the worker’s final words to the Supreme Court in Darwin 

Mr Mahmud told the jury he yelled at the worker to ‘get back in here’ as he held open the shop’s staffroom door. 

The security guard desperately tried to save Mr Laverty who he said was laying next to the toilet and ‘bleeding badly’. 

‘He put his hand to me and said ‘Rifat save me’,’ Mr Mahmud told the court in a report by NT News. 

‘His eyes were getting bigger, he was bleeding from his mouth. He was suffocating, he couldn’t breathe.’ 

Mr Mahmud removed his shirt and used it to apply pressure to Mr Laverty’s wounds before he began CPR. 

The security guard also told the jury he cried out for help before an older man entered the shop and said of Mr Laverty ‘poor thing… he’s gone’. 

Paramedics arrived four minutes later after a customer – who was inside the bottle shop during the alleged stabbing – made a triple-0 call. 

Christel Shuttleworth broke down in tears as her panicked triple-0 call was played for the jury. 

Ms Shuttleworth was heard telling emergency services that Mr Laverty was ‘not okay’ and that he was ‘losing consciousness’. 

She was also heard reassuring Mr Laverty, who was still responsive at the time, that an ambulance was on its way. 

Ms Shuttleworth told the jury she felt uneasy the moment she drove into the car park at the bottle shop.

She explained Kerinauia was ‘leering’ at her while urinating in the bushes outside the shop. 

As she entered the BWS, she spotted three other customers – a young Indigenous man buying a slab of alcohol at the counter and another two leaving the cool room. 

It was then when the young man she saw outside entered the bottle shop and was ‘baiting’ Mr Laverty.  

‘It looked like he was enjoying being antagonistic. He was looking and smiling,’ Ms Shuttleworth told the court. 

‘The deceased said to him, “Mate you can’t be in here with no shoes on”. The young man got quite antagonistic about that and was challenging the deceased.’

Keith Kerinauia, 19, is on trial for murder. He allegedly stabbed Mr Laverty multiple times after he refused him service at the bottle shop (pictured) before fleeing the scene

Keith Kerinauia, 19, is on trial for murder. He allegedly stabbed Mr Laverty multiple times after he refused him service at the bottle shop (pictured) before fleeing the scene 

She added Kerinauia kept asking ‘Why can’t I, Why can’t I?’, which caused Mr Laverty to become visibly distressed and frustrated. 

Ms Shuttleworth said Kerinauia threatened Mr Laverty, with Mr Mahmud adding the 19-year-old said ‘you white c***, you can’t tell me to get out. What if I came in and stabbed you?’. 

Crown prosecutor Marty Aust told the court Kerinauia ran to his vehicle and allegedly armed himself with a large silver knife, described by witnesses as being the length of a ruler before returning to the store. 

The prosecution said Mr Laverty pulled out a blade, measuring about 5cm in length, from his back pocket and took off his shirt while an armed Kerinauia approached. 

CCTV footage showed both men swiping at each other, before Kerinauia was chased out of the store. 

Mr Aust explained Kerinauia made the first contact, which he described as an ‘unsurvivable and fatal’ 10.5cm stab wound to Mr Laverty’s heart. 

The worker also suffered a second 3.2cm stab wound to the left side of his chest as well as five other smaller wounds to his face, head and shoulders, the Crown alleged.

Mr Aust said Kerinauia suffered a small cut to the side of his face and a cut to his chest. 

Kerinauia’s defence barrister Jon Tippett told the court CCTV footage showed Mr Laverty reached his hand to his back pocket where he kept his own knife. 

He told the court the footage showed his client acted in self defence after Mr Laverty produced his own weapon with ‘enthusiasm’ and ‘lunged’ at Kerinauia. 

Kerinauia's defence lawyer will argue his client acted in self defence, claiming CCTV footage showed Mr Laverty (pictured) produced a knife and lunged at the 19-year-old

Kerinauia’s defence lawyer will argue his client acted in self defence, claiming CCTV footage showed Mr Laverty (pictured) produced a knife and lunged at the 19-year-old 

Customer Mandeep Singh, who was being served at the time of the attack, told the court on Tuesday Kernauia did not appear to be ‘overly aggressive’ when he entered the shop. 

He claimed he heard Kerinauia tell his friends outside the shop: ‘There’s a white guy inside, I’m going to f***ing stab him’. 

Mr Singh told police he thought the 19-year-old was ‘talking trash’ and ‘trying to look tough’  in front of his friends.  

From the carpark, Mr Singh also saw blood pouring out of Mr Laverty’s wound and Kerinauia fleeing the scene with a ‘smile on his face’. 

He said the young man ran to his car, and when he returned there was a ‘flash’ of a knife under the lights. 

The trial continues. 

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