Friday, May 13, 2016

Roger Rogerson planned to mow lawns, not kill Jamie Gao: court

Dressed in a grey polo shirt and an oversized tanned blazer, accused killer Roger Rogerson often gripped the witness stand with both hands, his white knuckles visible as he answered some of the final questions that would be put to him. 

At times the former detective would adjust his black hearing aid and then settle back in his chair and continue to glare at Crown Prosecutor Christopher Maxwell QC during his cross examination.

The entire case against him was "complete nonsense" and he had never planned to do anything on May 20, 2014 except trim his lawns and sweep the gutters outside his  Padstow home in Sydney's southwest.
In front of a NSW Court Supreme jury on Friday, the 75-year-old vehemently denied he was part of a "cold and calculated" plan to lure and kill university student Jamie Gao inside a Sydney storage unit.

He also denied that he had always intended for the 20-year-old student to "disappear" after stealing 2.78 kilograms of the drug ice from him.

"Your plan I put to you sir was always to kill him and steal the drugs and make him disappear," Mr Maxwell said.
20-year-old student Jamie Gao.
20-year-old student Jamie Gao. Photo: Police Media
"That's completely untrue," Mr Rogerson replied without hesitation.

Mr Maxwell then suggested that Mr Rogerson and his co accused Glen McNamara had agreed if they were ever investigated for the murder, the pair would stick to the story that Mr McNamara shot Mr Gao in self defence.

"I disagree – untrue," Mr Rogerson said, his voice raised.

Mr Rogerson has told the jury the only reason he went to Rent a Space, Padstow on May 2014 was as a favour to his close friend Mr McNamara.

On his account, Mr McNamara wanted to use a mutual friend's shed to talk to an informant who was helping him with a book he was writing about Asian gangs and drugs in Sydney.

Mr Rogerson said he was to keep an eye out for "suspicious Chinese" that might be following.

But he decided to go over to unit 803 and pull up the roller door to give some "fatherly advice".

What he saw was a white Mr McNamara and a dead Asian man on the ground.

He admits to helping dispose of the body out of loyalty to his friend but says he had nothing to do with the shooting death of Mr Gao.

When asked why he had gunshot residue on his hat, shirt and the pockets of his black tracksuit pants he said it must have been through a process of contamination when he was handling the body.

"I put it to you the gun shot residue was there because you handled a gun," Mr Maxwell said.

"Again Mr Maxwell that is absolute rubbish, rubbish, rubbish," Mr Rogerson said.

Earlier in the trial, the jury heard from Mr McNamara who maintains it was Mr Rogerson who shot Mr Gao dead.
During his evidence in chief he said that Mr Rogerson had threatened his life and the lives of his daughters and only helped to dispose of Mr Gao's body because he was under duress.

Mr Maxwell concluded the prosecution's case with: "In short I put to you that you were in an integral part of a cold and calculated plan to lure Jamie Gao to unit 803 and that all efforts would be made that he not be seen entering and that he would be executed there," he said.

"I disagree 100 per cent, complete nonsense," Mr Rogerson said. 

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