'I thought I might be able to give him some grandfatherly advice': Former detective Roger Rogerson's excuse for entering a storage unit where Jamie Gao was murdered

  • A court has heard CCTV footage shows murdered student Jamie Gao being dragged to a car
  • Crown Prosecutor Christopher Maxwell QC said former detectives Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara both looked to be lifting the body
  • Men charged with murder of Gao, who was found wrapped in a tarp off Sydney beach on May 26
  • A prison phone call between Rogerson and his wife suggested he would argue he only intervened in what happened between Gao and McNamara
  • Rogerson and McNamara have also been accused of commercial drug supply
Glen McNamara former NSW Police Officer, author 
Former detectives Roger Rogerson and Glenn McNamara can be seen dragging the dead body of Jamie Gao on his back to a car minutes after they murdered him, CCTV footage shown by Crown Prosecutor Christopher Maxwell QC in Central Local Court contends.

In the footage, Rogerson and McNamara can be seen taking what appears to be a heavy object wrapped in a bag from the Rent-a-Space storage unit in the south-western Sydney suburb of Padstow at around 2pm on May 20 this year.

'The body's dragged on its back,' Mr Maxwell said, describing the footage as it was played to the court.

'Both appear to take part in the lifting of the body.'

Mr Maxwell showed dramatic scenes captured on security footage in what he says was an organised plan from the start to murder 20-year-old Mr Gao in the storage unit.

A court has heard that Roger Rogerson went to the storage unit where student Jamie Gao was allegedly murdered to see why he and Glen McNamara, pictured, had been in there so long

In pleading the Crown case  to oppose a bail application by Mr Rogerson, who appeared in the court via audio visual link from Silverwater remand prison in western Sydney, Mr Maxwell said Rogerson 'had control and access to the scene of the killing'.

Mr Maxwell said a prison phone call between Rogerson and his wife, Anne Melocco, since his arrest suggested Rogerson would be arguing that he had only intervened in whatever had happened between Jamie Gao and McNamara in the storage unit after the shooting to give some 'grandfatherly advice'

He said Rogerson told Ms Melocco 'well they'd been there a fair while Anne. I thought I'd go over there and see what's happening.

'I thought i might be able to give a bit of a hand, a bit of old grandfatherly advice.'

Rogerson, dressed in prison greens, sat shuffling papers and reading notes in the prison during the evidence.

In part of the footage - which shows McNamara and Gao enter together the door of one on a row of cream coloured storage units, later followed by Rogerson - the three men are inside the unit for nine minutes.

Following this, McNamara can be seen taking a surfboard bag into the unit.

Rogerson - who appears to hobble or limp each time he moves on foot - emerges to move his vehicle.

'Mr Rogerson ... brings his car over to shield them bringing the dead body out,' Mr Maxwell said, showing footage of Rogerson parking his car behind Mc Namara's outside the unit.

Back of storage facility
Rogerson, 73,  and Glenn McNamara, 55, are charged with murdering of university student Mr Gao, whose body was found wrapped in a tarpaulin floating in the sea of Cronulla in southern Sydney on May 26, a week after he was reported missing.

Police allege the University of Technology Sydney student was shot in a storage facility by McNamara and Rogerson during a botched drug deal involving 3kg of methylamphetamine on May 20.

The application was before Magistrate Les Mabbutt.

Barrister George Thomas, for Rogerson,  suggested a struggle between McNamara and Mr Gao might have ensued before Rogerson entered the storage facility.

He said there was between three and four minutes that the two were in there, 'enough time for a killing to take place'.

On August 8, Magistrate Mabbutt refused a bail application by McNamara, who offered $580,000 in a surety to be effectively 'under house arrest'.

Jamie Gao was already dead and on the floor following a struggle with a firearm by the time Roger Rogerson entered a storage unit on May 20, Rogerson's barrister told Central Local Court.

George Thomas said Rogerson had been called to the scene of a proposed 'ice' drug deal between Mr Gao and former detective Glenn Mc Namara to deal with alleged triad associates.

CCTV footage shows Mr Gao arriving at the Padstow storage unit with two young Asian men.

In submissions to the court distancing Rogerson from both the drug deal and what he described as the 'unintended' killing 'in self defence' of Mr Gao by McNamara, Mr Thomas said Rogerson had made no attempt to conceal his activities on the day.

He said Rogerson's presence at the scene 'related to McNamara's concerns Jamie Gao had associations with people said to be triad related. McNamara wanted to be sure he wasn't being followed'.

He said in the three to four minutes McNamara was with Mr Gao inside the storage unit - which was dark and had no light - there was a struggle involving a pistol which may have been carried by Mr Gao.

He said on entering the storage unit, 'a man was already on the ground, deceased' and McNamara told Rogerson there had been a struggle.

Mr Thomas said Mr Gao's two bullet wounds - one of which was '150mm down from the nipple' and both of which showed had been made in a ' downward trajectory' - could not have been made by Rogerson who was shorter than Mr Gao.

He said Rogerson had helped to remove Mr Gao's body from the unit, but had not been involved in the dumping at sea by Mc Namara.

Last month the case was facing some delays as fingerprints, DNA evidence and CCTV footage were still being compiled in the murder case against former NSW detectives Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara, a court heard.

They have also been accused of commercial drug supply.

Lawyer Paul Kenny, for Rogerson, 73, did not require him to be videoed in from Silverwater Correctional Centre in July, while McNamara, 55, is in Goulburn prison.

Police prosecutors told the court more time was needed to assemble some of the scientific evidence in the case, and there were significant delays in autopsy reports on the victim.

Central Local Court heard that up to five weeks was needed to assemble fingerprint evidence from the crime scene and DNA testing of clothing.

Evidence to be presented in the case included analysis of methylamphetamines allegedly found in McNamara's car.

However, although a postmortem had been completed on Mr Gao, there was a six-to-nine-month delay at the Sydney morgue on the autopsy report.

Police allege the University of Technology Sydney student was shot in a storage facility by McNamara and Rogerson during a botched drug deal on May 20.

McNamara was charged and faced Kogarah Local Court on May 26. Rogerson was arrested amid a media frenzy outside his home in the western Sydney suburb of Padstow the following day.