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Court told of talk on body disposal

The Age

Thursday March 24, 2011


TWO former workmates of the man accused of the murder of Ringwood woman Elisabeth Membrey have testified that he talked in a WA hotel of disposing of the body of a Melbourne barmaid.Shane Andrew Bond's former workmate Daniel Riera told the Melbourne Magistrates Court yesterday that on his first day in Karratha working for Bond, he was taken to the local hotel where Bond said he had tried to "pick up" a barmaid in Melbourne and had disposed of her body.Bond, 43, is facing a committal hearing charged with Ms Membrey's murder. She disappeared after leaving work at the Manhattan Hotel in Ringwood on December 6, 1994. Her body has not been found.Mr Riera said Bond had said the barmaid hit him when she refused his advances, and that he hit her. Bond then said that she hit her head on a coffee table and that he and another man present had gone to a river or creek to dispose of her body and clean up the mess.His workmate, who can be referred to only as "Witness A", said there were whispers around Karratha about Bond having killed a woman in Melbourne.Defence lawyer George Georgiou asked both Mr Riera and Witness A who a fourth person they both believed was present during the conversation was. Neither could name him.They both testified that Bond was known to lie Witness A went so far as to describe him as a "compulsive liar" and the story he told of the Melbourne barmaid became something of a joke between them.A crime scene analyst said two days after Ms Membrey was last seen he found bloodstains in the hallway of her Ringwood flat near the kitchen and bathroom doors and larger stains were found outside the doorway to her bedroom.In a report, crime scene analyst Senior Constable Robert Huygen said the carpet in Ms Membrey's hallway was wettest under the largest bloodstains. He said that in and near the bloodstains, he found a piece of fingernail, a metal fragment and a small piece of what appeared to be packing tape.Senior Constable Huygen said there was blood spatter low on the walls and one wall in the hallway, as well as another in Ms Membrey's bedroom, had swipe marks on it, which indicated it could have been cleaned.A mattress in the hallway was "widely stained", some of which appeared to be blood, he said, and a stain pattern appeared to indicate a hand grip.In the kitchen bin, Senior Constable Huygen found two condoms with fluid, a pair of black pantyhose, two blue socks and a black bra.Earlier, hotel patron John Wild said he saw a well-built man argue with Ms Membrey just before she left work.The hearing before Magistrate Ann Collins continues today when cross-examination of Senior Constable Huygen is expected to continue.

© 2011 The Age

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