Sat. Jun 15th, 2024
alert-–-greg-lynn:-ex-jetstar-pilot-claims-he-was-acting-in-‘self-defence’-when-carol-clay-and-russell-hill-died.-now-prosecutors-reveal-what-they-think-of-his-version-of-eventsAlert – Greg Lynn: Ex-Jetstar pilot claims he was acting in ‘self-defence’ when Carol Clay and Russell Hill died. Now prosecutors reveal what they think of his version of events

A jury tasked with deciding the fate of former Jetstar pilot Greg Lynn has been urged to dismiss his claims of self-defence. 

Lynn, 57, has pleaded not guilty in the Supreme Court of Victoria to the murders of Russell Hill, 74, and Carol Clay, 73, in the Wonnangatta Valley, in the state’s alpine region on March 20, 2020.

On Monday, Crown prosecutor Daniel Porceddu made his closing address to the jury, telling them to reject any notion the campers died by accident. 

‘You’ve heard the accused gave a version of events in his interview and in the witness box last week. For reasons I’ll go into in due course, the prosecution says that that account in completely fanciful,’ he said. 

‘You can comfortably reject it as being an elaborate fiction.’ 

Mr Porceddu’s closing address follows Lynn’s appearance in the witness box last week. 

Dressed neatly in a suit and dark-rimmed spectacles, the former pilot spoke in a cool and calm manner as he took the jury through the details of what police allege was cold blooded murder.

The jury heard Lynn claimed the couple died after Mr Hill stole his shotgun and the pair engaged in a deadly struggle for control.

‘I don’t know if he intended to shoot me or not, probably not,’ Lynn told the jury. 

‘I think he was just trying to keep the shotgun for himself and scare me off.’

The jury heard Lynn had been sitting near his campfire by the river when he saw Mr Hill take his shotgun and load the magazine.

The doors of Lynn’s Nissan Patrol had been left wide open to ‘liberate all the music’ from his car stereo, which in the pilot’s own words was done in a ‘childish effort’ to annoy Mr Hill after a previous run-in with him.

While Lynn has always denied murdering the couple, the jury heard he freely admitted to cleaning up the alleged crime scene and destroying the evidence.

‘It was despicable,’ Lynn conceded.

‘All I can say to the families is that I am very sorry for all of your suffering that I’ve caused… yes I should be punished for it. For what I did.’

The jury heard Lynn had offered to plead guilty to the destruction of evidence before going on trial, but it had been rejected by the prosecution.

‘I am innocent of murder,’ he said. 

‘I am innocent (of manslaughter too). I haven’t killed anyone.’ 

Lynn claimed Mr Hill accidentally shot Ms Clay through the head as he attempted to wrestle the shotgun away from him.

Pressed upon the bullbar of Mr Hill’s Landcruiser, Lynn claimed Mr Hill pulled the trigger, blasting off the side mirror and hitting Ms Clay directly in the head.

Mr Hill died moments later after falling on his own knife during another struggle, Lynn claimed.

The spat had allegedly been sparked by Mr Hill’s supposed dislike of deer hunting.  

‘According to accused, this unfortunate series of events is said to start with one thing, Mr Hill being hostile towards him because he was a deer hunter,’ Mr Porceddu said. 

‘He concocts a version of events that puts Mr Hill as aggressor and him as the victim in a campsite spat.’

In closing the case, Mr Porceddu ran the jury through all of the evidence they have been presented over the past month. 

‘He tells you Mr Hill and Ms Clay both died accidentally in separately instantaneous, or near instantaneous, fatal incidents both brought about by the conduct of Mr Hill,’ Mr Porceddu said. 

‘The accused’s story is indeed a series of very unfortunate events. Like the book series of that name, it is also a complete fiction.’

Mr Porceddu claimed Lynn had made further errors in his account to police about the alleged confrontation with Mr Hill. 

‘There are a number of reasons the story that the story is completely implausible,’ he said.

Mr Porceddu said Lynn had made a mistake in his account of the supposed struggle with Mr Hill by not taking into account the rope tied from the bullbar of his Landcruiser to the toilet. 

The jury heard the struggling men would have become hopelessly entangled in the rope had Lynn’s version of events been true. 

‘He knows he’s sunk because he knows that he and Mr Hill would have become tangled up in the guy rope,’ Mr Porceddu said. 

Mr Porceddu claimed Lynn came up with his story in the 18-months it took police to arrest him. 

‘The so-called struggle for the gun is the whole linchpin in the accused’s story. Once that falls like a house of cards everything else tumbles with it,’ he said. 

‘You don’t believe a word of it. We urge you to see the accused’s account for what it is – a carefully constructed fiction developed over one year, eight months. During that time the accused was able to gain through the media an understanding of the evidence emerging. 

‘It was an account that was clearly carefully rehearsed so much so that he can repeat it almost word-for-word over two separate days of a police interview. It is an account crafted in such a way to shift the blame to Mr Hill.’  

The jury heard Lynn’s story about Mr Hill stealing his gun from his car made no sense.

‘If you’re a person concerned about firearm safety, you’ve snuck up to the accused’s campsite to confiscate his gun, and you’re trying to do that without him knowing, why are you loading it when all you’re looking to do is take it back to your campsite?’ the prosecutor said.

Mr Porceddu said it was also unreasonable to think Mr Hill would have taken the shotgun and left Lynn’s rifle in the car.

‘If you’re going to confiscate the gun of a person you’ve not been on the best of terms with, who you’ve allegedly been provocative towards and you’re doing it to eventually report him to the police, don’t you think you’d make he wasn’t left with another gun?’ he said. 

The jury heard police allege Lynn likely murdered Mr Hill after some kind of dispute before eliminating Ms Clay because she was the only witness. 

‘Had she been allowed to live, Ms Clay would have been in a position to identify the accused,’ Mr Porceddu said. 

‘While it is not kown how Mr Hill was killed because the accused deliberately burnt the body of Mr Hill and obliterated any forensic evidence … the evidence establishes Ms Clay was killed by a gunshot to the head.’

The jury heard forensic experts were only ever able to identify one bone fragment from the 2000-plus found as belonging to Mr Hill.  

The Crown’s closing address is expected to take up much of Monday. 

The jury will then be taken through Lynn’s closing defence by his barrister Dermot Dann, KC. 

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