Accused spoke of murder method

SECRET recordings of an accused killer describing how to murder somebody without being caught and talking about his hidden firearms have been played to a Supreme Court jury.

Two Victorian undercover operatives gave evidence in Hobart yesterday in the hearing against 61-year-old Stephen Roy Standage.

Mr Standage has pleaded not guilty to shooting dead John Lewis Thorn in 2006 or Ronald Frederick Jarvis 14 years earlier.

The court heard the Victorian officers took part in a sophisticated police sting designed to extract information about the murders from the accused.

Jurors were told Mr Standage was put on a $200 a week retainer with the fake gang and promised a slice of criminal jobs worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

He was flown to Melbourne several times to take part in simulated criminal activities including buying and selling illegal firearms and collecting cash from prostitutes.

During a taped conversation between the accused and an operative, Mr Standage is heard discussing a few "f--- ups" he had made in Tasmania.

"There's been a few issues and I've had to take care of that," Mr Standage said.

"I haven't got caught because I'm f---ing smart, because I'm f---ing ruthless and because I'm f---ing careful."

In another recording, Mr Standage was asked whether he owned any guns.

"Yeah, I've got a few stashed," Mr Standage said.

"I've got a couple of shotties (shot guns) and a couple of hand guns - I used to have a rattle gun, fully automatic."

Mr Standage then discussed the most suitable guns to kill someone with.

"If you want to whack someone you're going to need a .45 and that, and you put a couple of .22s in the torso," he said.

Mr Standage told the officer big guns were the best choice to frighten somebody or to shoot them dead from a distance.

"If you're going to knock someone the further away from them you are when you do it the better chance you have of not getting caught," he said.

Later, jurors heard the accused talk about Mr Thorn's murder.

"Some of the cops reckon I did it for sure, but you know, cops aren't real bright," Mr Standage said.

"Thank God, otherwise they'd catch us all the time, wouldn't they?"

The trial continues today.

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