Witness refuses to give more evidence

COURT proceedings were interrupted yesterday when a witness in a Ravenswood double murder case erupted in anger during a tense cross- examination.

Hobart's Philip Dare, who says he turned down $5000 to "set up" Angela Hallam for a "slapping", refused to give any more evidence after an encounter with lawyer Evan Hughes.

Mr Dare had been telling the court about a phone conversation with Marco Daniel Rusterholz, 49, and David Ronald Morgan, 55, about bashing Ms Hallam.

However, he stood up and angrily refused to participate after being quizzed over apparent inconsistencies in his evidence and a previous police statement.

"Do you know when they got me to do this (statement) was the day I got arrested," he shouted.

Magistrate Tim Hill attempted to calm him down but decided to adjourn temporarily.

Mr Dare then told Mr Rusterholz he was "weak as p---" before being led away.

Mr Rusterholz, formerly of Daphne Court, Rocherlea, has pleaded not guilty to killing Ms Hallam, 31, and her partner Josh Newman, 21, in her Pioneer Parade unit.

Mr Morgan has pleaded not guilty to conspiring to murder Ms Hallam.

The couple were found stabbed to death with their bodies partially burnt in the unit on August 15 last year.

During yesterday's preliminary proceeding, another witness claimed that he had destroyed evidence for Mr Rusterholz.

He said he was at a party on the morning of August 16 at Derwent Park when Mr Rusterholz arrived and told him that he had killed the couple.

The court heard they then drove to the Rebels bikie clubhouse at Kingston and got a 44-gallon drum to burn some hair apparently belonging Ms Hallam.

The man said he wasn't "really thinking" when asked why he didn't tell police this when interviewed the following day.

He admitted asking police to quash some drug charges before giving them another statement about Mr Rusterholz's alleged confession.

"I couldn't give a rat's a--- about the drugs (charges) - it was f--k all drugs to start with," he said.

Matthew James Coventry yesterday said he met Mr Rusterholz at the Burnie McDonald's on August 15 where he delivered him $700 in drug money that he'd been ask to collect.

He said drug money owed by Ms Hallam was discussed at the restaurant.

Mr Coventry, formerly of Latrobe, said Mr Rusterholz later told him he had killed the couple.

"You were involved in that murder, weren't you?" Mr Rusterholz's lawyer Evan Hughes asked him.

"Don't be stupid," Mr Coventry replied.

The court heard that Mr Coventry, formerly of Latrobe, had previously been an accessory after the fact to murder that involved him burning a dead man's body in 2001.

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