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David Alan Bradshaw faces trial for alleged murder of Mark Edward Petersen in 2019 Lakes Creek house fire

Mark Edward Petersen, 47, died when his house was burnt down in August 2019. (Supplied)

A jury has heard a Rockhampton man on trial over the death of 47-year-old Mark Edward Petersen in 2019 deliberately set fire to his house in an act of "serious vengeance".

David Alan Bradshaw, 42, is on trial in the Supreme Court in Rockhampton, charged with the murder of Mark Edward Petersen. He has pleaded not guilty.

In his opening statement today, Crown Prosecutor Joshua Phillips argued Mr Bradshaw deliberately set fire to Mr Petersen's house in the suburb of Lakes Creek in the early hours of August 15, 2019.

"When his remains were discovered there was almost nothing left of Mark Petersen," Mr Phillips said.

"He died in this house fire that had been deliberately lit … despite other signs that he was in there. Noise from a telly, lights on.

Prosecutor Joshua Phillips argued Mr Bradshaw deliberately set fire to Mr Petersen’s house. (ABC Capricornia: Rachel McGhee)

"He died in this house fire that had been deliberately lit because David Alan Bradshaw wanted to inflict some serious vengeance".

Mr Phillips told the court Mr Bradshaw later confessed twice to starting the fire.

"A month after this house fire the defendant … drove down to Brisbane, walked into the Brisbane City Police Station and confessed twice."

'I'm pretty sure I've done something bad'

Four witnesses took to the stand today to give evidence, including Mr Petersen's former partner, his neighbour, a police officer and a fire officer.

Senior Constable Trevor Smith was working at Brisbane police headquarters in Roma Street on September 14, 2019.

He told the court, that evening Mr Bradshaw came to the front counter and told him "I'm handing myself in, I'm pretty sure I've done something bad".

Senior Constable Smith said when he asked Mr Bradshaw why he thought he was wanted by police, he said he had just driven down from Rockhampton where he had set fire to a house — burning it down — and that he believed that someone was inside at the time.

Senior Constable Smith said he then called the Rockhampton Criminal Investigation Branch and waited with Mr Bradshaw until detectives could question him.

Witness Kylie Maree Rhule told the court she had been in a relationship with Mr Petersen for decades until 2017.

The court heard from Mr Petersen’s former partner, Kylie Maree Rhule (right) as the first witness. (ABC Capricornia: Rachel McGhee)

The court heard Ms Rhule broke up with Mr Petersen when she found him smoking something from a glass pipe.

Ms Rhule said she didn't know what that something was, but she knew it wasn't cannabis and that day was the "final straw".

Defence lawyer Andrew Hoare asked Ms Rhule if Mr Petersen had started behaving erratically around that time, saying he wanted to "blow himself and the place up" and harm himself.

Ms Rhule said that was correct.

Mr Hoare also asked Ms Rhule about text messages and calls from Mr Petersen the day before he died.

He told the court Ms Rhule had many calls and texts from Mr Petersen the day before the fire, some of which spoke of him wanting to "end himself".

Ms Rhule confirmed this.

'Big explosions' witnessed by neighbour

Another witness who lived across the road from Mr Petersen, Carolyne Cockerell, recalled being woken by her dog barking, hearing a number of loud bangs and seeing tall flames engulf Mr Petersen's house.

"When the dog was carrying on he went to the front door and that's when I just saw all the big explosions," Ms Cockerell told the court via phone.

The trial is expected to run until Friday.

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