Duo peddle fake ecstasy pills to
pay off gang: court hears
2011 - 8:11AM
At least two men involved
in a Gold Coast shooting were allegedly peddling
fake ecstasy pills to pay off a $50,000 fine
imposed by the Finks outlaw motorcycle gang, a
court has heard.
But their plan
went awry when the buyer, 22-year-old Jarred
Blake, pulled out of the deal at the last minute
and was shot in the abdomen as he sat in his car
at a Runaway Bay boat ramp on July 7, 2009.
He suffered life
threatening injuries, but managed to drive to a
nearby KFC outlet where he stumbled inside
bleeding and collapsed on the floor.
Thornbury, 27, has been charged with the
attempted murder of Mr Blake.
pleaded not guilty in the Supreme Court in
Brisbane to attempted murder and also to the
alternate charge of causing grievous bodily harm
It is alleged he
and an associate, Simon Willis, travelled to the
northern rivers district and purchased 12,000
dud ecstasy pills so another associate Luke
“Chubbs” Laybutt could on sell the tablets to
help pay his debt to the bikie gang.
The handover of
2000 of the pills to Mr Blake was to take place
near the boat ramp on Ray Street, and Mr Blake
had $17,000 with him, the court heard.
However, when the
alleged plan fell apart, Mr Blake was shot in
the abdomen by a balaclava-clad gunman,
allegedly Mr Thornbury.
Mr Willis was the
first person to identify Mr Thornbury as the
shooter and yesterday was the first witness to
take the stand in the trial, which has been set
down for 10 days before Justice Roslyn Atkinson.
Wilson, for Mr Thornbury, argued Mr Willis had
been ordered by members of the Finks to ensure
Mr Laybutt’s debt to the motorcycle gang was
He alleged Mr
Willis was promised $5000 of the $50,000 owed
should he complete his duty. If not, he risked
having his ear sliced off.
However, Mr Willis
has so far refused to identify “the boys” who
imposed the fine on Mr Laybutt.
“It’s the case
isn’t it that you refused to tell police who
imposed the debt,” Mr Wilson said.
Mr Willis replied:
“I won’t say who it was or anything like that.”
Mr Wilson asked,
“Who imposed the debt?”
Mr Willis replied:
“The people he owed – I don’t remember.”
It was not made
clear during the Mr Wilson’s cross-examination
how Mr Willis or Mr Thornbury were associated
with the Finks.
Mr Wilson later
asked, “Did you know Jarred Blake was also
associated with the Finks?”
Mr Willis replied,
“Mate, it’s the Gold Coast – there’s a lot of
them. Probably one third of people are
associated with them in some way, shape or
Citing Mr Willis’
initial statement to police, Mr Wilson said he
had described Mr Thornbury as a “lovely guy”,
whose alleged actions were a “complete
scared of my client,” he said.
“But you were
fearful of the consequences from these people if
you named them to the police?”