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Man identifies his alleged killer with his dying breath after being burned alive in Newcastle road

The last words of a man burnt alive on the side of a country road has led to the arrest of his alleged killer.

Wade Still, 23, was found with burns to his entire body on the side of Oakdale Road at Whitebridge, south of Newcastle, early in the morning of August 20.

According to the police statement of facts tendered in Court, Mr Still allegedly could only manage to tell NSW Fire and Rescue crews: ‘David McCauley did it.’

David John McCauley, 35, was arrested the day after Still’s death, charged with his murder.

David McCauley (pictured) has been charged with the murder of Wade Still, who allegedly identified him with his final words

Still (pictured) was a father-of-two, and in his dying breath, said: 'David McCauley did it'

Still (pictured) was a father-of-two, and in his dying breath, said: ‘David McCauley did it’

McCauley was due to face Toronto Local Court on Tuesday, represented by solicitor Matthew Unwin.

He did not appear or apply for bail.

The court heard that Still and McCauley had lived in the same apartment block, and had known each other for years.

Police have said that the two men were ‘low-level career criminals’, who were constantly ‘in conflict’. 

Taxi driver James Madden found Still, burning in a bush by a quarry and screaming: ‘I’m dying, I’m dying.’

Still was found by taxi driver James Madden (pictured), who says he heard a man screaming 'I'm dying' from a small fire near a quarry

Still was found by taxi driver James Madden (pictured), who says he heard a man screaming ‘I’m dying’ from a small fire near a quarry

‘David McCauley poured petrol on me,’ Still allegedly said to a firefighter, called by Madden.

‘Are you and Dave mates?’ the firefighter asked. 

‘We were,’ Still replied, according to police facts. 

Still then repeatedly said ‘David McCauley did it’, right up until he died while being airlifted to Royal North Shore Hospital, according to police facts.

The court adjourned the case, McCauley will re-appear before Newcastle Local Court in November, the same date as co-accused Troy McCosker, 49.  

In a police interview after his arrest, McCauley denied he had any involvement in Still's murder. Pictured: Police investigating the scene where Still's body was found

In a police interview after his arrest, McCauley denied he had any involvement in Still’s murder. Pictured: Police investigating the scene where Still’s body was found

In a police interview after his arrest on last Tuesday, McCauley denied he had any involvement in Still’s murder.

He told detectives he picked up Still on his motorbike just before midnight on the night of his death.

He said Still was carrying a five litre jerry can full of fuel for McCauley’s motorbike.

He said they stopped near the quarry on Oakdale Road, and that McCauley left him there because Still was going to wait for a friend. 

McCauley then claims he left Still at the scene, and later met up with McCosker, who applied for bail in court last Thursday.

His barrister unsuccessfully submitted a claim that McCosker was no more than a taxi driver for McCauley and didn’t know Still was even at the scene.

The court also heard McCosker and Still were in an ‘ongoing, violent feud’ prior to his death. 

McCauley and McCosker will remain behind bars until their hearing in November.

Pictured: The patch of grass where a burning Wade Still was found by a passing taxi driver

Pictured: The patch of grass where a burning Wade Still was found by a passing taxi driver

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