Timing the 'fatal flaw' in murder, jurors told

JURORS in a Supreme Court murder trial have been told it is "virtually impossible" for an accused killer to have shot a man dead within the time frame proposed by prosecutors.

Stephen Roy Standage, 61, has pleaded not guilty to killing John Lewis Thorn at Lake Leake in 2006 and Ronald Frederick Jarvis at Nugent in 1992.

Continuing her closing address yesterday, defence lawyer Tamara Jago, SC, said timing was a "fatal flaw" in the case against her client in relation to Mr Thorn's murder.

Ms Jago said there was, at most, a half-hour window between Mr Thorn being seen in the Kalangadoo township and Mr Standage returning home to greet his mother's nurse and telephone his partner at work.

The court heard the remote murder site was at least 20 to 25 minutes' drive from the township, leaving very little time for Mr Standage to carry out the murder, let alone return home afterwards.

Jurors were told dragging Mr Thorn's body to its final resting place, covering a pool of blood with a pile of leaves, breaking saplings to cover the victim's remains and constructing markers to signpost a pathway all would have taken time.

The court heard even if Mr Standage took the "enormous risk" of shooting the man dead, leaving his body out in the open and returning later to tend to the murder scene, it was utterly implausible for him to have committed the crime.

Ms Jago told jurors to ignore comments her client made to others following the murder and his alleged confessions to undercover officers investigating the crime.

"Admitting to something impossible doesn't make it possible," Ms Jago said.

"Unless you can overcome this impossibility, given these time frames, you can never convict."

Earlier, Ms Jago told jurors to treat the evidence of witnesses in relation to Mr Jarvis's murder with "extreme caution".

The court heard much of the testimony provided was inconsistent, incorrect, unreliable or reconstructed.

Ms Jago said the number of potential killers who could have taken Mr Jarvis' life was vast, but her client was not among them.

Jurors were told the Crown had fallen "woefully short" of proving beyond reasonable doubt the accused murdered Mr Jarvis.

The trial continues today.

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