Thursday, February 25, 2016

Gunshot residue on Roger Rogerson's clothing

Court Reporter

Gunshot residue was found on Roger Rogerson's pants, shirt, pockets and hat just days after Sydney university student Jamie Gao was executed.

But there are three explanations as to how it could have got there.
The first possibility is that he fired a gun.

A second scenario is that he was in "close proximity to a gun at the time it was discharged".

And lastly he could have come into contact with an object or a surface that was contaminated with gunshot residue.

Regardless of how it got there, a gunshot residue expert has told the NSW Supreme Court that the clothing she tested "supports the proposition of a firearm association".

Mr Rogerson has denied shooting Mr Gao and is arguing his co-accused, Glen McNamara, pulled the trigger on the afternoon of May 20, 2014.

But Mr McNamara, a former policeman, says it was Mr Rogerson who shot the gun inside the southern Sydney storage shed. 

Dr Stephanie Hales, who did her PhD on gunshot and explosive residue, told the court that there was no gunshot residue particles found on the two set of tracksuit pants seized from Mr McNamara.

"The absence of gunshot residue on the samples from the clothing of McNamara does not support or preclude the proposition of firearm association," she said in her report.

Despite the gun residue being found on four items of Mr Rogerson's clothes, Dr Hales could not definitively say whether he was the shooter.

"You cannot exclude the reasonable possibility that Rogerson was not the shooter and was not present in the storage shed at the time of the discharge of the firearm?" asked Mr Rogerson's barrister, George Thomas.

"That's correct," Dr Hales said.

In his opening address to the jury, Mr Thomas argued that Mr McNamara was the shooter.

Mr Rogerson opened a unit door at Padstow and saw Mr Gao "dead on the floor with a handgun lying near him".

"He says Mr McNamara appeared to be shocked and said a gun had been pointed at him by Jamie Gao and he was threatened," he said.

But Mr McNamara's barrister, Kara Shead, says her case rests on the fact that Mr Rogerson was responsible for shooting Mr Gao twice in the chest.

"He saw Mr Rogerson kill Jamie Gao in front of his own eyes and he was terrified," she said.

Both men have pleaded not guilty to murder and supplying a large commercial quantity of prohibited drugs.

Earlier on Thursday, Misaki Takebayashi  gave evidence about how she desperately tried to call Mr Gao in the hours after he was allegedly killed and stuffed inside a silver surfboard bag.

Ms Takebayashi had been dating Mr Gao for about two months when she rang his phone and someone answered on the evening of May 20.

The person said "hello" in Chinese before hanging up on her. 

She spoke of how Mr Gao had met Mr McNamara several times, including three days before his death at a pub in Hurstville.

"I recall times where I would be shopping in Hurstville with Jamie and he would receive a call on his mobile from Glen wanting to meet," she said in her police statement. 

"Sometimes Jamie would be gone for hours."

The trial continues before Justice Geoffrey Bellew.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Roger Rogerson had keys to Padstow storage unit months before Jamie Gao murder

THE man who leased the storage unit where Jamie   was murdered later told police he believed one key might be missing from the set he loaned his friend Roger Rogerson, a jury has been told.
The jury hearing the evidence in the murder trial of Rogerson, 72, and Glen McNamara, 56, was today read two statements from a man named Michael McGuire, who is now dead.
The court heard Mr McGuire signed a lease agreement for Unit 803 of Rent A Space, Padstow in February 2014, two months before Gao was shot twice at close range inside the small, powerless space, in order to store office furniture.
Rogerson and McNamara have pleaded not guilty to murdering Gao on May 20, 2014, and taking part in the supply of the 2.78kg of ice it is alleged Gao brought to the unit.
Mr McGuire said in the first of his two statements, made on May 25, 2014, that he had known Rogerson for 12 years through their mutual association with the Bulldogs rugby league club, and McNamara for roughly six years.
In his first statement, the jury heard McGuire last saw Rogerson on May 23, 2014, when they met up at a Lugarno cafe, in Sydney’s south, because Rogerson had asked his friend if he could borrow a mobile phone “as his phone was playing up”.
“I gave Roger an old Nokia telephone. I was only at the cafe for about ten minutes and went back to work. Since this time I have not seen or spoken to Roger,” his statement said.
The jury was told that in his first statement Mr McGuire said that he had been in possession of the keys to the storage unit ever since his friend Michael Free moved some office furniture into the space on February 24, 2014.
But in a second statement, made on May 29, 2014, Mr McGuire recalled that he had loaned the keys to Rogerson in March of that year because he wanted to offer him the use of some office furniture.

The jury heard that while the pair were at the Grandviews Bowling Club, Mr McGuire thought Rogerson may like the use of an office chair and a printer “for his home office where he runs his public speaking venture from”.
“Roger said he was interested in looking at my furniture,” Mr McGuire’s statement said, adding that about three days about this talk, he handed over the keys inside a white envelope.
“I cannot be sure how many keys were on the key ring for the 803 locks, but I assumed at the time there were about six or eight keys as there are two locks to the storage unit and I assumed it must be an even number,” his statement said.
The jury heard that Rogerson gave the keys back about three days later and declined the use of any office furniture.
Mr McGuire’s second statement said that he was told by police that the keychain he handed over to them after Gao was murdered had only five keys.
“It was the first time I had ever paid attention to the amount of keys that I had for the storage unit...I assumed there we I can six keys on the key ring.”
The trial continues before Justice Geoffrey Bellew.