Stories sounded fanciful: trial told

AN ACCUSED murderer told his daughter ``fanciful'' stories about dealings with alleged bikie gang members in the months leading up to his arrest, a court has heard.

Melanie Standage gave evidence yesterday in the Hobart Supreme Court hearing against her father Stephen Roy Standage.

Mr Standage is accused of shooting dead John Lewis Thorn and Ronald Frederick Jarvis 14 years apart.

He has pleaded not guilty to both murders.

Ms Standage told the court her father spoke of engaging in criminal activity with the alleged gangsters, whom he had met at the Swansea RSL.

``He told me he was working for the Hells Angels,'' Ms Standage said.

``It sounded really fanciful to me.''

Jurors have previously heard Mr Standage was befriended by specialist Victorian cold case detectives posing as gang members in 2010, and flown to Melbourne several times to take part in a series of ``simulated criminal activities''.

The court has heard the accused was the focus of a sophisticated covert operation spanning several months designed to illicit details of the two killings.

Yesterday, Ms Standage said her father talked about joining the alleged gangsters to track down a prostitute who had stolen a car.

``He said he went with them and he thought they were going to rough her up, but that he kept her safe,'' Ms Standage said.

Jurors also heard from Ms Standage's partner Leighman De Sousa, who told of hearing similar stories.

Mr De Sousa said when the accused spoke of his experiences with the undercover police posing as criminals, he had ``a level of excitement'' in his voice.

``He said they'd told him they were `running girls' out of the casino,'' Mr De Sousa said.

``He was going to help them collect money or something.''

Mr De Sousa said he found it ``a bit far-fetched'' that the accused was involved in such activities.

Under cross-examination, the witness said he suspected Mr Standage could have been the focus of an undercover investigation, but the two never discussed the possibility.

``Nothing was ever mentioned about them being police as far as I remember from Steve,'' he said.

Later, a ballistics expert told the court the fatal bullet that felled Mr Thorn did not match any gun parts, spent casings or ammunition discovered during a cold case search of Mr Standage's Kalangadoo property.

The trial continues next Tuesday.

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