Monday, May 9, 2016

Roger Rogerson 'shot to pieces' when reality of Jamie Gao's death sank in: trial

The body of a university student was pulled from a white Ford station wagon and placed onto the cold, concrete floor of a Cronulla unit car park.

Shortly afterwards, former detective and true crime author Glen McNamara, 57, lent over the body and allegedly said, "This asshole nearly killed me, this asshole nearly killed me."

Another former policeman Roger Rogerson, 75, testified at his NSW Supreme Court murder trial on Monday that this is what happened.

Mr McNamara and Mr Rogerson are both charged with the murder of Jamie Gao, 20, and taking the 2.78 kilograms of ice the UTS student had brought to a meeting in May 2014.

But the accused men are blaming his death on each other.

On his second day in the witness stand, Mr Rogerson outlined to a jury his version of events in the hours after Mr Gao was killed inside a south-western Sydney storage shed.

He said that, after Mr Gao's body was stuffed inside a silver surfboard bag, it was loaded into the back of a white Ford station wagon and driven to Mr McNamara's apartment block.

When the pair had dragged the body to the floor, Mr Rogerson claimed his friend said a number of things while leaning over the deceased.

"[McNamara] said, 'He can't hurt me but his mates can and I'm very worried about my daughters, they are vulnerable.' "
Mr Rogerson said he was then asked to help load the body into Mr McNamara's boat, which was parked in the basement nearby.

"[McNamara] said I've got to distance myself from him … if his body's found with bullets in it I know his mates will come after me," he told the court.

At this point, Mr Rogerson said reality started to sink in.

"I was basically shot to pieces myself … I was starting to realise the whole enormity of what had happened and I didn't know what to think really but all I could do was do what I was doing," he said.

Mr Rogerson said he only asked who the dead person was a few moments before his friend asked him to lift the body into the boat.

"I actually said to Glen McNamara, I said 'Glen what's his name? And he just said 'Gao.' "

"Neither of us collectively could lift the body any more than just inches off the floor," he said.

Mr Rogerson claimed this was when Mr McNamara resolved the pair should drive to Kennard's Hire at Taren Point to buy a block and tackle, which would help them lift the body into the boat.

The jury were also told about how the pair went back to where Mr Gao was killed the following day to clean up spots of blood.

Armed with a green bucket, a sponge and plastic bottle filled with water, the pair made their way to unit 803 at Rent a Space, Padstow.

"I used the bucket and the water and the sponge ... there was only three or four little spots of blood on the floor," Mr Rogerson said.

The trial continues before Justice Geoffrey Bellew.

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