Dead drug dealer known to police
THE six people accused of involvement in the murder of drug dealer Saaid Zaiter in a Tweed caravan park 18 months ago had their matters mentioned together for the first time in the Lismore Local Court this week.
Only one of the accused, Ricky Humphries, of Lismore, appeared in the dock before Magistrate Robyn Denes in a brief mention of the case against him.
This appearance was also to allow for his ill grandmother, who had travelled from Yamba, to see him.
In the Crown case, Mr Zaiter, 47, is alleged to have been murdered in cabin 136 at the Tweed Heritage Caravan Park, Chinderah, on December 16, 2008.
The burnt-out remains of his borrowed silver Land Rover Discovery was found beside the road at Barkers Vale at 5.30pm on the same day, sparking an unsuccessful police and SES ground search of the surrounding area for any sign of the missing man.
Police documents before the court state Mr Zaiter was well known to police in NSW for his involvement in organised large-scale manufacture and distribution of prohibited drugs between Sydney and Surfers Paradise
Mr Zaiter’s remains were not discovered until earlier this year over a steep drop at The Pinnacle in the Border Ranges National Park.
The six cases mentionedbefore the court this week were:
Ricky Leigh Humphries, 27, of Ballina Street in Lismore, charged with murder.
Rodney Boyd White, 43, of Chinderah, charged with murder. He was arrested at Kamarooka in Victoria and extradited to NSW.
Jessica Tess Birkensleigh, 23, of Chinderah and Craigieburn in Victoria, charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder; and being an accessory before the fact to murder. She is the girlfriend of White and was also extradited to NSW.
Todd Serone, 38, of Tweed Heads West, who is charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder. He is also accused of harbouring White. Serone also faces drug charges, including the supply of methylamphetamine and MDMA at Tweed Heads on May 6, last year; and possession of a shortened Bently single-barrel shotgun and a 177 Cal air rifle inAugust 2008.
Matthew Grahame Warner, 26, of Ballina Street in Lismore, is charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder. He is accused by police of harbouring/assisting White after the alleged murder. Warner was previously given Supreme Court bail in Sydney and is residing in Queensland after being ordered by the court not to associate with any of the accused, or go within 500 metres of any jail facility, or within 50km of Lismore.
Peter Elefsen, 37, of Kyogle, charged with being an accessory after the fact of murder. Elefsen, who is on bail, is accused of assisting White after the alleged murder.
It is believed police have also gathered forensic evidence from charred tape, cable ties and a tarpaulin found at the scene of the Land Rover fire.
Ms Denes said the matters were complicated and the cases were adjourned to August.