John ‘Jack’ Garda.
John ‘Jack’ Garda.

Brothers face murder charges

IN THE latest twist in the alleged murder of Byron Bay businessman John ‘Jack’ Garda, the elder brother of his accused killer Kevin Purtill has been charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder.

Warren Purtill, 46, of Byron Bay, appeared late yesterday in the Lismore Local Court on the charge.

Warren Purtill is accused of being an accessory after the fact to murder between 4pm on February 8 and 4.30pm on February 12 at Lennox Head, knowing that his brother Kevin had committed murder.

Kevin Purtill, 38, of Blue Seas Parade in Lennox Head, appeared before Magistrate Robyn Denes on Monday charged with the murder of Mr Garda, 54, at Lennox Head on Monday, February 8.

Lawyer Ben Cochrane, for Warren Purtill, revealed his client has been in jail since February 19 and is serving a six-month sentence.

Warren Purtill was jailed last month for the offences of larceny and obtaining money by deception.

Both cases involving the death of Mr Garda will be mentioned next month.

Police also confirmed the missing Holden Astra belonging to Mr Garda was found in Queensland yesterday.

At his court appearance on Monday, Kevin Purtill sat silent in the dock with his hands clasped on his lap. Of stocky build with dark hair and wearing glasses, he was dressed in blue jeans, a striped short-sleeve check shirt and white sneakers.

Mr Garda’s body was located in a shallow sandy grave at Broadwater on Saturday, 30 metres down a bush track off the Pacific Highway.

He went missing on February 8 after telling friends he was going to a meeting in Lennox Head.

Police are yet to formerly identify the body, which has been sent to the Glebe Coroner’s Court in Sydney for a post-mortem examination.



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