Reprisals fear in Bandido-linked murder probe
April 27, 2011 - 1:53PM
Fear of reprisals is hindering police efforts to solve a decade-old Victorian murder linked to the Bandidos motorcycle gang, an inquest has heard.
Earl Mooring, 54, was last seen leaving a friend's home in Geelong in October 2000.
The victim, a security guard on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry service, was lured to a house where he was assaulted, then bashed and tortured at a second home, an inquest into his death heard today.
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Steven Utah, a former Bandido who has publicly confessed to being involved in disposing of Mr Mooring's body, has claimed Mr Mooring was shot in the back.
But forensic evidence shows Mr Mooring was killed with a blunt object, the Victorian Coroners Court heard.
Mr Mooring's body was found in a rural area near Goulburn, NSW.
During a short inquest, Victorian State Coroner Judge Jennifer Coate said the case remained an open police investigation.
Judge Coate said a "fear of reprisals" against anyone who co-operated with police was hindering investigations into the murder.
She found Mr Mooring died as a result of multiple injuries inflicted on him.
Judge Coate said Mr Mooring's family had not only endured his death but they were still waiting for answers nearly 11 years after his murder.
"These proceedings must feel like an inadequate end to the years of waiting for answers," she said.
Mr Utah, who now lives overseas, was charged over the murder, but the charge was dropped by the Office of Public Prosecutions.