Selasa, 26 Agustus 2014

Slain couple *angry* over panel van restoration, accused killer tells Cairns court (ABC)

The man accused of murdering a Mount Isa couple has told a court they were angry at him for not restoring their panel van quickly enough.

Mechanic Brandon Peter MacGowan, 43, has pleaded not guilty in the Cairns Supreme Court to murdering Scott Maitland and Cindy Masonwells in July 2012.

Police allege he stabbed Ms Masonwells, 33, and shot Mr Maitland, 35, after a long-running feud over a panel van he was supposed to have been restoring for them.

On Tuesday, MacGowan took the stand, telling the court he picked the couple up from the Cairns Airport.

He said Ms Masonwells was angry about the lack of progress about the panel van restoration.

"She was yelling that she was pissed off with me because the van hadn't been restored," he said.

"I told them I wasn't going to do the van any more."

MacGowan constantly referred to Mr Maitland as "Scotty" and said he was "a good mate".

He told the court that after the couple arrived at his home they drove off in a customer's van and he never saw them again. 

MacGowan said he believed at the time that they had "probably cracked the shits and driven back to Mt Isa".

The couple's bodies were found in bushland near Cairns in July 2012.

'Let's deal with one lie at a time'

Prosecutor Todd Fuller challenged MacGowan's evidence, saying: "Your story's all just a fantasy isn't it, Mr MacGowan? Let's just deal with one lie at a time."

Mr Fuller said MacGowan had told police in 2012 that Mr Maitland was only a customer and he did not know him very well.

MacGowan admitted he had told a lie and that Mr Maitland was a good friend.

Earlier in the day, the slain couple's phone records were presented to the jury.

They indicated Ms Masonwells made her last call shortly before she boarded a flight to Cairns with her husband.

Mr Maitland made no calls from that date onwards.

The prosecution has finished presenting evidence at the trial.

On Monday, police forensic expert Sergeant Brett Meara told the court the bullet that killed Mr Maitland was the same calibre and brand as an unfired bullet police found in MacGowan's home.

Sergeant Meara said the fatal bullet was also the same calibre as a bullet found in the back of a van MacGowan was alleged to have been using at the time of the couple's death.

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