Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Roger Rogerson says Jamie Gao shot himself dead during struggle with Glen McNamara

Former detective Roger Rogerson is charged with murder but has told a court he believed his alleged victim had shot himself – twice.

Mr Rogerson said he saw the body of Jamie Gao, 20, lying on the floor of a Sydney storage shed but did not think any crime had been committed.

The 75-year-old said he believed his friend Glen McNamara, 57, who told him Mr Gao had accidentally shot himself during a struggle.

"So that Jamie Gao himself, shoots himself?" asked Crown prosecutor Christopher Maxwell QC.

"Well he must have," Mr Rogerson replied.

"Not once but twice?" Mr Maxwell asked.

"That could happen," he said.

Mr Rogerson and Mr McNamara are accused of killing Mr Gao in unit 803 at Rent a Space Padstow on May 20, 2014.

It is alleged they then stole the 2.78 kilograms of the drug ice he had brought to sell them.

Murdered 20-year-old student Jamie Gao.
Murdered 20-year-old student Jamie Gao. Photo: Police Media
But the accused men are blaming the shooting on each other.

Mr McNamara maintains he saw Mr Rogerson shoot Mr Gao twice in the chest.

Yet Mr Rogerson says when he entered the storage unit Mr Gao was already dead and that Mr McNamara said he had been shot in a struggle.

Under intense cross examination on Wednesday, Mr Rogerson agreed he had been naïve in believing his friend and not calling the police.

"Didn't you even ever question the veracity of this story that Glen McNamara allegedly told you?," Mr Maxwell said.

Mr Rogerson replied, "I had the utmost confidence and trust in Glen McNamara at the time."
"I did not believe that any criminal offence had been committed."

The gun used in the shooting death of Mr Gao has never been found but Mr Rogerson told the jury he last saw Mr McNamara handling it.

"What happened to the gun?" Mr Maxwell asked.

"You'll have to ask somebody else … I don't know, I don't know what happened to the gun."
Mr Rogerson denied that he and Mr McNamara had planned to "rip off" Mr Gao by stealing the drugs he had brought to a meeting.

"I was not part of any plan to rip Jamie Gao off ... I had no reason or need to rip off Jamie Gao , I'd never even heard of him until the 20th [of May ], let alone rip him off," Mr Rogerson said.

At one stage Mr Maxwell asked Mr Rogerson if he was was naïve in believing Mr McNamara's story and then helping to dispose of the body.

"I suppose I think I am naïve … I am not the man I used to be," Mr Rogerson said.
Earlier in the day Mr McNamara's barrister Gabriel Wendler asked why Mr Rogerson had helped his friend, following Mr Gao's death.

"We had this dreadful occurrence that had happened and why would I just leave him for dead? Why would I just wipe him? I honestly believed that the whole thing was solvable," Mr Rogerson said.

Mr Rogerson described the events as a "nightmare".

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