Standage bragged about killing: witness

A MAN accused of killing two men 14 years apart bragged about one of the murders and kept a collection of newspaper clippings relating to the crime, the Hobart Supreme Court has heard.

David Norman Pope gave evidence yesterday in the murder trial of 61-year-old Stephen Roy Standage.

Mr Standage has pleaded not guilty to killing Ronald Frederick Jarvis, 37, in July 1992 or John Lewis Thorn, 59, in August 2006.

Mr Pope, a marine carpenter, said he was introduced to Mr Standage in April 1999.

The court heard the two men met on a number of occasions throughout the year.

Mr Pope gave evidence of a conversation he had with the accused, in which Mr Standage "bragged" about the murder of Mr Jarvis.

"He spoke to me about the fact the police had never pinned the murder on him," Mr Pope told the court.

"He said he was too smart, and the police were too stupid."

Under cross-examination, defence lawyer Tamara Jago, SC, asked Mr Pope where the conversation took place, but he could not recall the location.

The court heard that at a later meeting, Mr Standage showed the witness newspaper clippings relating to Mr Jarvis's disappearance and murder.

"He kept the clippings to show people and remind himself how smart he was and how stupid the police were," Mr Pope said.

He said it was not until seeing the clippings that he realised Mr Standage's remarks about the murder were more than just "casual comments".

The court heard the men's relationship began to sour in June 1999 after an arrangement for Mr Standage to buy Mr Pope's yacht started falling through.

Mr Pope said after being offered cannabis instead of cash for $29,000 owing on the sale, he took the matter to court to settle the debt.

Ms Jago asked the witness whether he had been left feeling "extremely annoyed" after being awarded significantly less than the value of the yacht.

Mr Pope denied the suggestion, saying: "I was glad to be over and done with Stephen Standage and the vessel."

The trial continues today.

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