Monday, August 25, 2014

Rogerson wanted to give 'fatherly advice'

FORMER NSW detective Roger Rogerson allegedly told his wife that he only went into the Sydney storage unit where Jamie Gao was fatally shot to give some "fatherly advice".

WHEN he emerged minutes later carrying the 20-year-old's body, he was helping his fellow ex-policeman Glen McNamara, who he thought had acted in self-defence, a court has heard.

The claims were aired on Monday as Rogerson made an unsuccessful bid for bail, which included a $1.5 million security, at Central Local Court.

Rogerson is charged with murder and drug supply.

In opposing his application, Crown prosecutor Chris Maxwell QC played CCTV footage to the court, which he said demonstrated how Rogerson was part of a synchronised operation with Glen McNamara to carry out the "execution-style murder" of Gao on May 20.

The end game was to steal 2.8 kilograms of the drug ice from the student, he said.

The crown says CCTV footage of that day shows McNamara entering the dark Padstow storage unit in Sydney's south-west with Gao before Rogerson goes in three to four minutes later.

Eventually the two emerge with Gao's body in a surfboard bag and load it into a station wagon.

A week later Gao's body was found bobbing about three kilometres off Cronulla beach and 2.8 kilograms of ice was discovered in the back footwell of McNamara's car, police allege.

After Rogerson's arrest for murder and commercial drug supply, the crown says the 73-year-old was recorded talking to his wife Anne from prison.

He allegedly told her he had only entered the storage unit to see "what was happening" and give a bit of "fatherly advice" to the former detective.

McNamara has also been charged with murder and commercial drug supply. With CCTV cameras at the site, Rogerson opined it was the "last place in the bloody world" you would commit a crime.

In heated submissions put to the court, Rogerson's barrister George Thomas said his client had only gone to the storage unit to offer help to McNamara who allegedly feared Gao was connected to an organised triad crime group.

Mr Thomas said the 73-year-old only helped McNamara to dispose of Gao's body because he thought McNamara had acted in self-defence.

There was nothing that tied his client to Gao's alleged murder or the drug haul, nor any evidence about who fired the fatal shot, he argued.

But Mr Maxwell said the explanation Rogerson gave to his wife didn't hold up.

Rogerson had the access code to the storage unit and had scouted out the premises about half an hour before Gao eventually arrived.

Once the killing occurred, Mr Maxwell said Rogerson drove his car to the storage unit and popped the boot, thereby shielding them when carrying out Gao's body.

Rogerson offered $1.5 million as security but Magistrate Les Mabbutt refused him bail, saying he posed an unacceptable risk of committing an offence or fleeing.

Outside court, Mr Thomas said Rogerson will make another bid for bail at the Supreme Court.

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