Holbrook man Troy Wetmore dies after fight

Holbrook man Troy Wetmore died in a fight at this Holbrook property on Tuesday night. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK
Holbrook man Troy Wetmore died in a fight at this Holbrook property on Tuesday night. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

A LARGE blood stain could still be seen yesterday in the dirt driveway of a farm where Holbrook man Troy Wetmore lost his life on Tuesday night.

Police rushed to the hobby farm on the Culcairn-Holbrook Road about 8pm, only to find the 35-year-old was already dead.

It will be claimed Mr Wetmore and Anthony Craig Cromb — from St James, south of Yarrawonga — got into a brief fight at the property.

Cromb, 52, of Oliver Road, did not enter a plea on one charge of manslaughter when he appeared in Albury Local Court yesterday.

He made no application for bail and was remanded in custody to reappear in court on Monday.

Police said it was clear “it was just a physical altercation”.

Inspector Brad Blanchard, of Albury police, said the victim was dead in the driveway of the property — about four kilometres west of Holbrook — when a traffic officer from Holbrook arrived within 15 minutes of receiving a report about an injured man.

Insp Blanchard said the two men were both staying at the farm.

“That’s only on a temporary arrangement, but they were certainly known to one another,” he said.

Insp Blanchard said the men were not related.

“We believe they may work for the same organisation, but didn’t actually work together,” he said.

“It was just that they were sharing the accommodation.”

Insp Blanchard said police believed Mr Wetmore died as a result of head injuries.

“No weapons (were) involved at all — it was just a physical altercation,” he said.

Cromb’s solicitor said his client wanted to appear in person in Albury Local Court on Monday, the next mention of the matter, rather than by audio-visual link.

That was because he would need to speak to a solicitor in person, he said.

Prosecutor Acting Sgt Trent Williams made an application for the taking of a blood sample from Cromb for the purposes of checking for alcohol, illicit drugs and prescribed drugs.

Sgt Williams said it was imperative the sample be taken as soon as possible as “it’s been some time since the offences” allegedly took place.

Magistrate Megan Greenwood — appearing via video link from Wagga — granted the application, ordering the sample be taken from Cromb at Albury hospital by 5pm.

She allowed Cromb to appear in person on Monday given “the seriousness of the charge”.

Cromb did not make any comment during his appearance, although he occasionally mouthed words to two women who were supporting him in the public gallery.

It is believed the property where Mr Wetmore died is owned by his father, George, and Cromb may have been staying there in a caravan.

Insp Blanchard said there may be witnesses who could help police with their inquiries.

“We’re certainly interviewing one other person today and we’re going to canvass the areas of Holbrook, in and around licensed premises, to get some background knowledge,” he said.

Insp Blanchard said the accused man stayed in Holbrook during the week for work, and went home at weekends.

He said the exact circumstances of the confrontation between the two men was still being investigated.

“We don’t think there is anything drug or alcohol-related, it’s just been simply a situation that’s got out of hand and resulted in a physical altercation,” he said.

“And unfortunately it’s resulted in the death of a man.”

Insp Blanchard said previously “there had been no issues between them at all”.

A neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said she first saw a police car go past her property about 9pm, then noticed its flashing lights for quite some time.

“I didn’t think any more of it,” she said.

“But when I went up to the hospital — because my husband’s there — I was asked what’s happened out my way.

“Then I heard that it was (in connection with) the fellow who was living in the caravan, who was the friend of George, and George’s son.”