Accused hit mans court date
MURDERED former Casino grazier Jeffrey Ryan’s accused hit man appeared in Tamworth Local Court by videolink this week and will face a committal hearing there in October.
Kenneth Brooks, 45, who has been in custody since his arrest in February, is charged with murder and conspiracy to murder over the death of Mr Ryan at his Tamworth property on October 25.
Mr Ryan, 48, died of a shotgun blast to the stomach at a shed near his home.
His 70-year-old mother-in-law, Coralie Coulter, also faced court by videolink over the murder and has waved her right to a committal hearing in the local court.
She will now join her two daughters – Mr Ryan’s estranged wife Helen Ryan and her sister Ganene Coulter – to face trial in the NSW Supreme Court in September.
Mrs Coulter was charged with being an accessory to murder before and after the fact, and conspiring and agreeing to murder.
A fourth charge of soliciting, encouraging or persuading to murder was withdrawn.
Police have alleged the three women conspired to murder Mr Ryan by contracting Brooks, a Cessnock pensioner, to shoot Mr Ryan athis Tamworth property last October.
In December last year Helen Ryan was arrested and charged with murder, conspiracy to murder, perverting the course of justice and concealing a serious offence.
A further charge of soliciting to murder was added inFebruary when her sister and mother were arrested forbeing accessories before and after the fact, and conspiring to murder.
Police alleged Brooks was hired by Helen Ryan for $30,000 to kill her husband.
According to police facts the first payment of $15,000 was made last October.
Brooks and his de facto wife, Joeleen Farrell, 28, were arrested at their Cessnock home in February this year, immediately after Helen Ryan had allegedly dropped off thesecond $15,000 instalment for the killing.
Both denied the allegations, claiming the money drop-offs were an elaborate charade by Ryan to frame them.
Farrell, 28, who was charged with being an accessory before and after the fact, was bailed in July to appear in the Tamworth Local Court on September 8.