Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Murder Victim Was 'Paranoid'

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Murder Victim Was 'Paranoid'

Article excerpt

Byline: Geoff Egan

THE man whose body was found burnt in the Toolara State Forest was paranoid and believed Japanese Yakuza gangs were after him, a court has heard.

Stephen John "Snoop" Armitage, his son Matthew Leslie Armitage and their friend William Francis Dean have been accused of torturing Gold Coast man Shaun Barker at Cooloola Cove, stuffing him in a commercial esky, killing him, burning his corpse and dumping it in the forest.

The three have pleaded not guilty at the Brisbane Supreme Court.

In his closing argument, Mr Dean's barrister Scott Lynch told the court Mr Barker was a heavy drug user who was paranoid and had declining health.

Mr Lynch said Mr Barker believed Japanese Yakuza crime gangs were chasing him - other witnesses said they were Chinese gangs and were on his side.

Mr Lynch said Mr Barker refused to talk to people around mobile phones because he thought his calls were being tapped.

"It's impossible to know who killed Shaun Barker," he said. …

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