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Lawyer for 'Hulk': Big boss tales not true

Date

Louis Andrews

A stand-over man's claims of working for a shady interstate boss with the clout to collect debts from bikies were simply untrue, his lawyer says.

Christopher John Butler was described by one witness as ''looking like the Incredible Hulk, only not green''.

The 33-year-old is now being sentenced in the ACT Supreme Court for making a demand accompanied by a threat to endanger the health, wellbeing or physical safety of another.

He was found guilty of trying to shake-down a Fyshwick businessman earlier this year, but is appealing against his conviction.

The case against Butler hinged on a secret recording of his conversation with the victim, in which he asked for $60,000.

On the recording, the victim repeatedly professed his innocence, swearing he owed no debts to anyone.

Butler told him people ''spin this stuff all the time … and they go around and cut his hand off or break his leg, all of a sudden he [the boss] gets the money the next day''.

And he said his boss would never hurt the man's wife and children.

His lawyer, Ken Archer, yesterday said the comment was in response to something the victim said. And he said the tale about the ''lurking figure in Sydney'' was just a story.

Mr Archer said his client was an associate of a man known as ''Abdullah'' who had a previous business dealing with the victim go sour.

But the prosecution said the comments about cutting off hands or breaking legs, as well as the comments about the victim's children, aggravated the situation.

The Crown also noted when the victim said, ''So you're telling me basically it's $60,000 or my life,'' Butler replied, ''Hopefully it won't come down to that, but it could come down to that''.

Acting Justice Nield will sentence Butler tomorrow.

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