Former Detective Sergeant of the New South Wales Police Force, found guilty of murder 2016
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Jurors see Rogerson and McNamara’s every move on day of murder
The unblinking eyes of closed-circuit TV cameras watched former policeman Glen McNamara take his boat out of storage on May 19, 2014. They also watched him struggle to fold down his boat’s red canopy to allow it to squeeze below the low roof of his Sydney apartment garage.
They even stared as he took it out two days later with his mate, fellow ex-cop Roger Rogerson, after nearly forgetting a handful of fishing rods. The pair were also caught on footage having a drink at a pub with some other men, Mr Rogerson with his leg up on a bench.
It was all innocuous-looking footage, the sort of thing mature blokes do. But what the cameras failed to see was what took place inside Rent-A-Space storage shed 803 in southwest Sydney between 1.46pm and 2.18pm on May 20 — when university student and would-be big-time drug lord Jamie Gao, 20, was shot dead with two bullets to his chest.
Yesterday, silence echoed through the NSW Supreme Court room as the 14 members of the jury watched a compilation of silent CCTV footage depicting the accused killers allegedly planning for, carrying out and cleaning up after the murder of Gao.
It was the first time the jury has seen the footage, apart from in printed-out stills in the opening addresses, and it will play a vital part in the prosecution’s case that Mr Rogerson and Mr McNamara acted as a “joint criminal enterprise” with the intent to kill or harm Gao. One hour and 53 minutes of images showed significant places, people and actions between April 2 and May 24, 2014.
Both men have pleaded not guilty to murder and to a charge of supplying a large commercial quantity of prohibited drugs.
CCTV cameras tracked Mr Rogerson and Mr McNamara’s almost every move on the day of the murder and following days.
Crown prosecutor Christopher Maxwell QC took NSW police detective sergeant Aaron Phillips through each phase of the footage, asking him to confirm what appeared to be happening, including when a blue car was filmed towing the boat police allege was used to dump Gao’s body in the ocean wrapped in a blue tarpaulin.
Mr Maxwell: “You can see a blueish-coloured item apparently next to the surfboard (in the boat)?”
Sergeant Phillips: “Yes.”
Gao met with Mr McNamara in early April and May at the Meridian Hotel in the south Sydney suburb of Hurstville. On the evening of May 19 — after footage showed Mr McNamara taking his boat out of storage, which the prosecution alleged was in preparation to dispose of a body — Gao met with the former policeman and true-crime writer.
A large portion of the vision was dedicated to the early afternoon of May 20, 2014, when it is alleged Gao was shot twice at close range in the chest with a .25-calibre handgun.
Throughout the hearing, Mr McNamara, dressed in a dark suit and tie, watched attentively, sometimes taking notes, sometimes resting his chin on his thumb, while Mr Rogerson, dressed in a tan jacket and black shirt, looked on impassively.
Today the jury of five women and nine men will be taken by bus to the key scenes depicted in the footage.