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Bikie demands cash to testify in murder case



A MOLE from bikie gang the Bandidos has demanded money and his name cleared if police want him to rat out his friends to solve a Corio man's 10-year-old murder case.

A coroner yesterday said a "fear of reprisals" against anyone who co-operated with police was hindering investigations into the death of Earl Mooring.

A finding into the grandfather's grisly death yesterday revealed the 54-year-old was lured to a Whittington house where he was assaulted, then he was bashed and tortured at a second home.

His body was thrown into his car boot and driven to New South Wales, where he was dumped down an embankment.

The investigation remains open and a $500,0000 reward, one of the biggest in the state, remains for anyone leading police to Mr Mooring's killer.

Victorian State Coroner Jennifer Coate told the hearing former Bandido bikie Steve Utah, who has publicly confessed to disposing of the body, had a "list of requirements" that needed to be met if he was to testify.


She said they included funds for legal representation, he be granted indemnity from giving evidence, compensation, withdrawal of outstanding police charges in Queensland, his testimony remain secret and "anything else I was promised in 2004".

Ms Coate said she did not have the power to ensure his demands were met.

Mr Utah, who is now in hiding, was charged with Mr Mooring's murder in 2004 but the charges were later dropped after the Office of Public Prosecutions said there was not enough evidence.

Mr Mooring was last seen leaving a friend's Norlane home in October 2000 before being lured to the Whittington home of his girlfriend, who cannot be named, where a group of males was waiting for him.

Ms Coate said the girlfriend and Mr Utah were aware Mr Mooring had up to $120,000 stashed at his home.

"Investigating police also suspect that people were laying in wait for Mr Mooring to arrive at (the girlfriend's) home so they could pressure Mr Mooring into revealing the location of his alleged cash savings believed to be hidden in his home," she said.

"Mr Mooring was assaulted ... and then conveyed to a second location were he was tortured, to reveal the location of his alleged savings, and subsequently killed."

In 2004, Mr Utah led police to Towrang where Mr Mooring's skeletal remains were found.

Ms Coate said, despite the best effort of police, they had not been able to secure a conviction leading to more suffering for Mr Mooring's family.

"These proceedings must feel like an inadequate end to the years of waiting for answers," she said.

"I extend my deepest sympathy to the family of Mr Mooring for their loss in such awful circumstances."

Mr Mooring's girlfriend was given a three-year suspended jail sentence in the Supreme Court for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.



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