Matthew Leslie Armitage
Matthew Leslie Armitage

Magistrate threatens to jail witness during murder hearing

A MAGISTRATE has threatened to jail a witness in a murder committal hearing involving two men from Gympie and one from Toowoomba.

The Brisbane magistrate has told Tin Can Bay drug addict Ian Schutz many times to speak audibly and to answer questions clearly.

"I'm forming a view that the way your answering the questions is a manner in which you are refusing to answer the questions," the magistrate said.

He said if the witness did not start responding appropriately he could go to prison.

Mr Schutz told the court his drug addiction was so bad that he will not drive a  car for fear of what would happen.

He even struggled to remember how old he was.

"I started smoking (drugs) when I was 18 -  I think I'm 22 (now)," he said.

Mr Schutz is giving evidence relating to the alleged murder of Shaun Matthew Barker in December 2013.

Cooloola Cove residents Stephen John Armitage, 45, Stephen's son Matthew Leslie Armitage, 22, and Highfields resident William Frances Dean, 37,  have been charged with murder, deprivation of liberty and torture.  . 

 

EARLIER:
A CLOSE relation of two Gympie region murder accused "did a runner north" after trying to "revive a dead man".

Lissa Couchman is the sister of Stephen John Armitage, 45, and the aunt of Stephen's son Matthew Leslie Armitage, 22.

Ms Couchman on Monday was giving evidence at the committal hearing into the alleged murder of Gold Coast resident Shaun Matthew Barker. 

Mr Barker was last seen alive on December 10, 2013, in Broadbeach and his body was found in a forest near Tin Can Bay in April, 2014.

The Armitage men, both from Cooloola Cove, and Highfields resident William Frances Dean,  37,  have been charged with murder, deprivation of liberty and torture. 

Ms Couchman told the Brisbane Magistrate's Court that her son, Kane Ostwald, was "scared for his life" after he saw a dead man "in the bush".

She said Mr Ostwald told her he was high on drugs when he saw the body.

"Kane told me that he was taken out into the bush with everyone," Ms Couchman said.

"He couldn't tell me who he was with.

"He had to revive a person. A person was out in front of him dead."

- APN NEWSDESK



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