Ice dealing ended in brutal esky murder, court hears

ONE of Shaun Barker's accused killers allegedly bragged about smashing his kneecaps and cutting a finger off, saying "you wouldn't believe how big a flogging this bloke can take without talking".

Cooloola Cove trio Stephen John Armitage, his son Matthew Leslie Armitage and William Francis Dean are accused of locking the 33-year-old Gold Coast father in a fishing esky, torturing and killing him on an unknown date between December 2013 and April 2014.

The trio pleaded not guilty to murder, torture and interfering with a dead body when their trial began in the Brisbane Supreme Court yesterday.

Crown prosecutor Glen Cash QC told the jury in his opening address that Mr Barker was involved in the Ice trade and was also addicted to the drug when he disappeared in December, 2013.

Four months later, Mr Cash said Mr Barker's "partially burnt skull" and other body parts were found in the Toolara State Forest in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.

It is alleged the accused men were supposed to "get information" from him.

"Shaun Barker was tortured, murdered and his remains burnt by the three defendants," Mr Cash told the jury.

The jury was told it will hear evidence of a man, who the Crown says was Mr Barker, being kept in a large fishing esky at a Cooloola Cove property.

It is also alleged Stephen Armitage told a witness: "you wouldn't believe how big a flogging this bloke can take without talking".

"We've smashed his kneecaps in, broke his fingers, cut a finger off, smashed his face in, you wouldn't even recognise him," he allegedly said.

It is also alleged Mr Barker had honey poured into his genitals to attract ants while tied up in the forest.

But Mr Cash said it "can't be said who it actually was who killed Shaun Barker" out of the defendants.

The trial continues.

 
 
Gympie Times

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