Accused woodchipper killers set for trial with hours of secret recordings

Jurors deciding the fate of three people accused of feeding a man into a woodchipper will hear 40 hours of secret audio recordings picked up by a bug planted by police.

Bruce Saunders was crushed by a woodchipper while clearing a driveway at Goomboorian, about 150 kilometres north of Brisbane, in November 2017.

The 54-year-old had spent the past three weekends at the property doing a favour for the resident, a family friend.

Police initially treated Saunders’ death as a tragic accident, until detectives received a tip-off and the inquiry became a homicide investigation.

The accused trio are Gympie man Peter John Koenig, 65, Deception Bay man Gregory Lee Roser, 63, and Sunshine Coast woman Sharon Graham, 61.

All three were charged in May 2018 with murder and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The prosecution alleges Graham stood to gain a financial benefit from Saunders’ death.

Detectives gathered about 1000 hours of surveillance audio during their investigation from phone intercepts and at least one bug placed inside the home of one of the accused.

In July last year, prosecutors highlighted about 75 hours as crucial to their case.

However, during a pre-trial review on Wednesday, the court heard crown prosecutors planned to play 40 hours of the secret recordings to the jury. This was expected to take 10 days.

Judge Martin Burns said the trio’s defence barristers might also want more of the police audio played.

Let’s double that, say the defence [lawyers] wants an equal amount [of the recordings] played for context. That’s four weeks [of the jury listening to the recordings], he said.

Part of the transcripts from the secret recordings . The section of secret recordings described were picked up at Graham’s home.

In one conversation, Graham could be heard saying to Roser: We need to have all of the stories straight.

In a separate conversation at Graham’s home, Graham told Koenig: I’m right on top of him [referring to Roser]. The problem is he is shitting himself and I said he would be the only person who could come f—ing undone, because I’m not going to go to jail for no one.

The Brisbane Supreme Court trial will remain listed for 12 weeks, starting on August 15. However, the case will be reviewed again on July 22.

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