Slain university student Jamie Gao wore a “mask” to hide a “parallel life”, going to classes and studying while building his experience as a Calvin Klein jeans-wearing drug dealer, a court has heard.
With that background he was well placed to resist handing over nearly three kilos of ice to former detective Roger Rogerson until he saw the “colour of the money”, the jury in the murder trial of Mr Rogerson and Glen McNamara was told.
Continuing his summing up in the four-month trial, Mr McNamara’s barrister Gabriel Wendler told the NSW Supreme Court in Sydney this morning that the killing of Gao in May 2014 was not part of Mr Rogerson’s original plan.
But it was the result, Mr Wendler claimed, after Gao stood up to being robbed by Mr Rogerson who had brought no money to transact the purchase of the drugs, leading to a confrontation in which Mr Rogerson shot him dead.
“He never anticipated resistance,” Mr Wendler said.
“Had the plan to rip the drugs off succeeded without any violence there would not have been anything to attract the police.”
Mr Rogerson and fellow former detective Mr McNamara have pleaded not guilty to plotting to murder Gao in a rental shed at Padstow in Sydney’s southwest in a bid to steal the ice the 20 year old had brought to the meeting.
Mr Rogerson has claimed he did not know Gao and had no idea what was to transpire when he met Mr McNamara and Gao in the rental shed after he agreed to facilitate a meeting between the pair aimed at helping Mr McNamara get further information for a book he was writing about Chinese triad gangs.
Mr Rogerson’s evidence is that when he entered the shed and very few minutes after Gao and Mr McNamara got there, he found Gao already dead and Mr McNamara in a state of shock saying Gao had tried to shoot him and had died in a struggle for the gun.
But this morning Mr Wendler described this scenario as “fantasy land” manufactured by Mr Rogerson, involving considerable “imagination and inventiveness.”
Mr Wendler took the jury to Mr Rogerson’s testimony in which he had said he had agreed to tag along to the meeting between McNamara and Gao to act as “a second set of eyes” to watch out for suspicious Chinese who might be triad members.
“He wasn’t able to explain what was going to happen” if triad members did show up, Mr Wendler told the court.
Nor did Mr Rogerson seek from Mr McNamara the identity of Gao ahead of the meeting.
“Wouldn’t you ask, ‘what’s his name’,” and after finding him killed, ask “who’s the dead geyser?” Mr Wendler put to the jury.
“He knew the name of Jamie Gao ... and, in my submission, had some association with him,” Mr Wendler alleged.
It was far more credible that Mr Rogerson pulled the trigger to kill Gao, rather than Mr McNamara who in the preceding weeks had had many face to face discussions with the young man and exhibited an element of affection towards him in text messages.
“Can you seriously see Mr McNamara executing Mr Gao?” Mr Wendler asked the jury.