'Vampire' gigolo murder brazen and brutal, court hears
The murder of a male gigolo and self-confessed "vampire" while on trial for the rape and mutilation of a woman was brazen and conducted with "frightening brutality," a Melbourne court has heard.
Crown prosecutor Andrew Tinney, SC, alleged the shooter of Shane Chartres-Abbott was a career criminal who had Evangelos Goussis as his accomplice.
Mr Tinney told Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday that the shooter was helped by a man, who cannot be named, who was an associate of the woman's boyfriend, Mark Perry.
Murder victim Shane Chartres-Abbott. Photo: Andrew De La Rue
Mr Tinney said in his opening to a contested committal hearing that the shooter also had help before and after the 2003 murder from a former and a then-serving police officer.
He alleged the former member, David Waters, and Detective Sergeant Peter Lalor helped the shooter ascertain Mr Chartres–Abbott's correct address.
Mr Tinney alleged Mr Waters was also handed the murder weapon, a .357 magnum, on the day and after the murder by the shooter and that Mr Lalor helped him establish a form of alibi.
Mr Tinney alleged that several days after the murder the shooter collected the firearm from Mr Waters at a hotel in Brooklyn and that he disposed of it by throwing it into the sea at Eastern Beach in Geelong.
Mr Waters and Mr Lalor have not been charged and have repeatedly and strenuously denied any involvement in the murder.
Goussis and his co-accused are charged with murdering Mr Chartres-Abbott in the driveway him of his Reservoir home as he travelled to court.
Mr Tinney said the reason Mr Chartres-Abbott was killed was because he was believed to have raped and viciously assaulted a young woman named Penny, who was a former girlfriend of Mr Perry's.
He alleged that Mr Perry instigated the murder and that Goussis' co-accused was approached by Mr Perry.
Mr Chartres-Abbott, 28, was shot dead in the driveway of his home in June, 2003, while leaving to attend a trial in the County Court.
He was defending allegations he raped and seriously injured an exotic dancer whose tongue was partly bitten off in a savage assault.
The co-accused then approached the shooter, who was then approached by an old friend, Robert "Bluey Bob" Mather, who told the shooter that the co-accused would like to him to contact the co-accused.
Mr Tinney said the co-accused told the shooter it was the ex-partner of the woman's to have Mr Chartres-Abbott "dealt with", which the shooter understood to mean killed.
It was alleged the shooter later spoke to Mr Waters and that soon after, met with him and Mr Lalor at a hotel where Mr Lalor allegedly gave the shooter Mr Chartres-Abbott's address.
The court heard that the shooter and Goussis then carried out surveillance in Reservoir and inside and outside the County Court, where Mr Chartres-Abbott was on trial for rape and serious injury charges.
Mr Tinney said as Mr Chartres-Abbott left his home on June 4, 2003, with his girlfriend and her father, the deceased said "Oh my God". His girlfriend said she heard two shots in quick succession.
The shooter would later tell police that he put himself between Mr Chartres-Abbott and his two companions and aimed his first shot at his chest and his second hit him in the neck.
In detailing allegations about the "getaway", Mr Tinney said the shooter and Goussis drove to Flemington, where Mr Waters was waiting and that Goussis gave him the handgun and "perhaps the beanie and a scanner" for safe-keeping.
In what Mr Tinney described as "a number of steps" that involved a deliberate manipulation of the Magistrates Court and Victoria Police, the shooter attended a police station where Mr Lalor executed a warrant of apprehension on him for some driving charges.
He alleged that Mr Lalor bailed the shooter, who gave the policeman $1500 cash and told him to "have a drink".
Mr Tinney said that the shooter had made six statements in which he had implicated the two accused and others in the murder.
He continued: "It would be correct to say that [the shooter] did not provide all of the information upfront from the start, releasing information progressively to police in the statements.
"It would also be correct to acknowledge that sometimes [the shooter] said things in one statement or another that was shown by subsequent information disclosed by him to either be incorrect or deliberately false.
"He provided reasons for the manner in which he provided the information to the police."
Mr Tinney said the prosecution brief contained call charge records and other material including flight details and casino records that established in the month leading-up to the murder there was a "strong connection" between Mr Perry and the co-accused, between the co-accused and the shooter and between the shooter and Goussis.
He described the shooter and Mr Waters, Mr Lalor and Mr Mather as having a "connection" between Goussis and Mr Waters.
The last time Mr Perry was seen by investigators was in September 2007 during a meeting with the co-accused.
Police have issued a $1 million reward for information leading to Mr Perry's capture. He has not been seen since 2007 and is alleged to have been the organiser of the murder.
Mr Tinney said that Mr Perry had "decided that vengeance was the order of the day" for the alleged rape and assault of his former girlfriend.
In cross-examination on Monday, the shooter has denied changing his statements after being supplied with information by police and he has also denied that police offered promises or inducements in return for his co-operation.
Mr Tinney said that the shooter had not been a suspect until he chose, three years later, to reveal his involvement, take responsibility and implicate his co-offenders.
The shooter is presently serving a minimum of 19 years' jail, fixed in 2007, for three murders.
The hearing continues.