Killing of rich inventor discovered tied and gagged in his canal-front house should have been an ‘inside job’, attorneys for man who allegedly confessed to murdering the retiree inform courtroom
A person accused of murdering the Gold Coast inventor allegedly confessed to the killing, however attorneys declare it should have been an ‘inside job’, a courtroom was advised.
Philip Michael Stearman, 63, is charged with murdering Hugo Benscher, 89, discovered sure and gagged in his canal-front house on June 21, 1992.
The rich widower’s physique was discovered on the kitchen ground of his plush Paradise Point house, tied and gagged with proof of head accidents.
A gray-haired and bearded Stearman waved to the courtroom by videolink in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Thursday as his attorneys utilized to cross-examine key prosecution witnesses.
Defence barrister Timothy Ryan mentioned there have been a ‘variety of strands’ that have to be explored.
Philip Michael Stearman, 63, is charged with murdering Hugo Benscher (pictured), 89, discovered sure and gagged in his canal-front house on June 21, 1992
‘He is alleged to have made admissions to individuals who have been near him at the moment, together with his former companions,’ Mr Ryan advised the courtroom.
‘The prosecution case, it appears, depends upon the reliability of his admissions to maintain the allegations towards the defendant.’
However, on the time of the retired inventor’s killing, a number of burglaries and residential invasion offences had been carried out in close by canal estates.
Police discovered two units of footprints within the canal sand resulting in Mr Benscher’s house, prompting hypothesis a minimum of two folks have been concerned within the homicide, the listening to was advised.
Mr Benscher’s now deceased former assistant found the physique and was thought of a suspect, positioned underneath police surveillance however by no means charged.
Detectives discovered no fingerprint or DNA proof of the accused on the crime scene.
Only a bed room the place Mr Benscher hid money was disturbed, with a canvas bag, money and traveller’s cheques stolen, Mr Ryan mentioned.
‘To use the expression of an “inside job”, somebody needed to have offered data … about the place the person’s cash was saved, which then led others to come back to the home,’ Mr Ryan mentioned.
The rich widower’s physique was discovered on the kitchen ground of his plush Paradise Point house, tied and gagged with proof of head accidents
‘The individual or individuals who dedicated this crime should have had some concept what they have been searching for.’
It was additionally revealed Mr Benscher ‘held grudges and had a character liable to getting most individuals offside,’ the courtroom was advised.
‘Due to the kind of character of the deceased, it will seem that almost everybody he handled could have had a motive for breaking into his home with a view to acquire cash they might or could not have been owed,’ police notes learn to the courtroom revealed.
‘Benscher was recognized to hold massive sums of cash on his individual or in his house and made no secret of the very fact.’
Mr Ryan mentioned extra proof present in police operating logs and administrative materials required examination.
Magistrate Belinda Merrin described the prosecution case as ‘circumstantial’ and can permit the cross-examination of 4 key witnesses at a committal listening to set down for August.
Mr Benscher, who invented the inflatable ball bladder and valve for sporting gear, lived in Sydney earlier than retiring to the Gold Coast in 1986 the place he lived alone.