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Beau Andrew John Smith and Kye Enright plead guilty to 2019 manslaughter of Paul Rock at Plainland pub


The 2019 stabbing death of Paul Rock occurred in the parking lot of a pub at Plainland, west of Ipswich.
The 2019 stabbing death of Paul Rock occurred in the parking lot of a pub at Plainland, west of Ipswich.

Two men involved in a $10,000 drug deal gone wrong have pleaded guilty to killing their would-be customer during a carpark scuffle.

Paul Rock, 53, arrived at Porters Plainland Hotel west of Brisbane on a July evening nearly three years ago to buy methamphetamine being carried by Beau Andrew John Smith, then 26, and Kye Enright, then 21.

Mr Rock was instead dragged into a violent 45-second brawl that cost him his life.

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Both Smith and Enright – now 29 and 24 respectively – were arrested in the weeks after the July 2019 incident and have been in custody since.

Beau Smith and Kye Enright faced court over the fatal stabbing.
Beau Smith and Kye Enright faced court over the fatal stabbing.

The pair were previously charged with Mr Rock’s murder, along with a string of drug offences, and had faced trial in Ipswich Magistrates Court.

They appeared in the Queensland Supreme Court in Brisbane on Friday on a lesser manslaughter charge.

Both pleaded guilty to the unlawful killing of Mr Rock along with various drug charges.

The court was told that Mr Rock was agitated on July 1, 2019, after being “mucked around” by delays in obtaining the methamphetamine and had attempted to negotiate a lower price with his dealer.

This was not initially communicated to couriers Smith and Enright, who had also been told their drop-off at Plainland would be between them and two women.

After learning of the new circumstances, and Mr Rock’s anger, they bought kitchen knives from a nearby store before proceeding to the deal.

The 2019 stabbing death of Paul Rock occurred in the parking lot of a pub at Plainland, west of Ipswich.
The 2019 stabbing death of Paul Rock occurred in the parking lot of a pub at Plainland, west of Ipswich.

The parties eventually met in the Plainland pub carpark.

Mr Rock was accompanied by a middle-aged woman.

The four took the drug gamma hydroxybutyrate, or GHB, together and all but the woman tested the methamphetamine.

CCTV evidence showed the group chatting when Enright suddenly punched Mr Rock in the face.

The Crown said it was not aware of what triggered the assault, but Smith’s defence barrister Angus Edwards said he had been instructed the punch was preceded by Mr Rock saying something along the lines of: “Why don’t I just take the drugs.”

Mr Rock appeared to be getting the better of the younger man as the scuffle spilt over to the stolen car Enright and Smith had arrived in.

Paul Rock suffered 16 stab wounds. Picture: Queensland Police Service
Paul Rock suffered 16 stab wounds. Picture: Queensland Police Service

Smith then ran over to the car and grabbed one of the kitchen knives they had bought earlier and used it to stab Mr Rock repeatedly in the arm, leg and thigh.

Mr Rock suffered 16 wounds – some more than 12cm deep – with one stab cutting a major artery.

He died from blood loss.

Smith’s defence argued on Friday that his actions were not consistent of a man who set out to complete the drug deal with the intention of deliberately killing someone.

“(Smith) armed himself concerned with the possibility that something might go awry,” Mr Edwards said.

He also said Smith only moved to retrieve the knife when Enright and Mr Rock were scuffling.

Sentencing for both Smith and Enright will be carried out at a later date.

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