Man on trial for murders not to testify

The Supreme Court in Hobart.
The Supreme Court in Hobart.

AN ALLEGED double murderer will not take the stand or call any witnesses in his defence, the Supreme Court in Hobart has heard.

Kalangadoo man Stephen Roy Standage has pleaded not guilty to shooting dead Ronald Frederick Jarvis at Nugent in 1992, or John Lewis Thorn at Lake Leake in 2006.

The Crown has called about 180 witnesses in the hearing against Mr Standage over the past four months, with the last finishing giving evidence yesterday.

The final witness, a Victorian undercover operative, told the court between 10 and 15 police officers were involved in an elaborate sting designed to probe the accused for details of the murders.

The witness spoke of a string of simulated criminal activities that covert officers acted out with Mr Standage during 2010.

Jurors have heard the scenarios were played out to convince the accused he was being recruited to an organised crime gang.

He was then encouraged to confess to the purported boss of the criminal crew.

The witness said Mr Standage took part in a staged ecstasy deal inside a Launceston restaurant, and was included in a meeting with a supposed corrupt cop in a Cimitiere Street car park.

Jurors were told the accused helped collect false passports and diamonds in Melbourne's CBD and parcels of concealed cash from brothels at the edge the city.

The Crown's case concluded after the witness was excused.

Defence lawyer Tamara Jago, SC, told the court her client would not give evidence or call on any witnesses.

The trial will break for two weeks while counsels prepare their closing statements.

Justice Stephen Estcourt told jurors while they would hear no more evidence, the trial was far from over.

After closing arguments are presented, Justice Estcourt will sum up all evidence in the trial.

He said the final segment of the hearing may take several weeks and warned jurors it could prove tiring.

Jurors will then be asked to retire to consider a verdict.

The trial has been adjourned until  July 28.


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