A serial criminal fabricated a "pack of lies" to give as evidence in an attempted murder trial in exchange for bail and a lesser sentence, a defence barrister has said.
Zachary Froome appeared in the ACT Supreme Court on Thursday as a witness in the case of Axel Sidaros, 25. Mr Sidaros is accused of being one of four men to sneak onto the property of former ACT Comancheros president Peter Zdravkovic on June 28, 2018, shoot at him through a glass door, and set several of his cars alight. Mr Zdravkovic lost the top of a finger in the attack.
Mr Sidaros denies any involvement and has pleaded not guilty to eight charges including attempted murder, arson, inflicting grievous bodily harm, and aggravated burglary.
On December 12 last year, Mr Froome was in custody at Canberra's Alexander Maconochie Centre when he informed police about an alleged conversation he had with Mr Sidaros through their neighbouring cell door earlier in 2018.
Mr Sidaros told him he was "the one with the shotgun" in the firefight and firebombing at Mr Zdravkovic's home in Calwell, and the men were there to "knock him", Mr Froome said in an interview with police.
The pair allegedly joked about Mr Sidaros' attempted murder charge, with Mr Froome saying something to the effect of, "The worst thing about it is the attempted part". Mr Sidaros allegedly replied that it shouldn't have been attempted, and Mr Zdravkovic "shouldn't be around".
Mr Sidaros allegedly told Mr Froome the men had attended the Calwell house in a "hottie", or a stolen car, and went through Mr Zdravkovic's back sliding door during the attack.
When questioned by prosecutor Trent Hickey on the interview with police, Mr Froome said he couldn't remember the alleged conversation with Mr Sidaros - only giving officers his statement afterwards.
Mr Sidaros' defence barrister, Ian McLachlan, detailed Mr Froome's history "in and out of jail" and said he had issues with drug and alcohol abuse, which Mr Froome accepted. He said that after Mr Froome talked to police about Mr Sidaros, his bail was not opposed for an offence the following week.
Mr McLachlan said Mr Froome was a "junkie" who knew how to "play the game" and "work the system". He said Mr Froome relied on jail hearsay and added admissions when talking to police, so he could get bail and a lesser sentence for a current charge of using a carriage service to menace or harass.
"I'm suggesting you made it up," Mr McLachlan said.
Mr Froome called the accusation "ridiculous", and said he wouldn't make up such a conversation. He denied being a junkie and said he stopped using drugs daily late in 2018.
Mr Sidaros' remaining charges are attempted arson, discharging a firearm and endangering life, riding in a car without consent, and shooting into a building.
The trial continues.