Shaun Barker, 33, was found dead after he was accused of stealing drugs, a Crown prosecutor says.
Shaun Barker, 33, was found dead after he was accused of stealing drugs, a Crown prosecutor says. Photo Contributed

'You wouldn't believe' the flogging this bloke could take

SHAUN Barker's life was spinning out of control.

He had lost his job, broken up with the mother of his child, got hooked on the drug ice and had little contact with his family.

But things were about to get even worse, a crown prosecutor told the trial of two men accused of murdering Mr Barker.

On Monday, Matthew Leslie Armitage, 25, and his father Stephen John Armitage, 48, both pleaded not guilty to murder.

They are accused of committing murder between December 9, 2013, and April 11 the following year, when Mr Barker's remains were found in a forest near Tin Can Bay.

Prosecutor Glen Cash told Brisbane Supreme Court another man allegedly took Mr Barker from the Gold Coast to Cooloola Cove in December 2013.

Mr Barker had been accused of stealing 20 litres of the drug Fantasy, or GHB, Mr Cash said.

The prosecutor claimed Stephen Armitage told a witness: "You wouldn't believe how big a flogging this bloke could take without talking."

"We smashed his kneecaps in, broke his fingers ... smashed his face in. You wouldn't even recognise him," the elder Armitage allegedly added.

After a news report on a body found in the forest, Stephen Armitage allegedly told someone the body was not one they knew about, adding: "He's too well hidden ... too far away".

Mr Cash said one witness in this week's murder trial will allege Matthew Armitage mentioned putting "honey on old mate's genitals", referring to Mr Barker being tied to a tree as ants covered his genitals.

Mr Cash said a witness would tell the jury Matthew Armitage went to an esky and told a person inside: "Shut the f*ck up or I'll [stick] the hose in there".

Witnesses from Tin Can Bay, Gympie, Cooloola Cove and the Gold Coast would be called to give evidence, Mr Cash said.

One was allegedly told somebody "p*ssed and sh*t all over the back" of a four-wheel drive the prosecution claimed Mr Barker was transported in.

Mr Barker's sister Sheridan Mollenhauer told the court her brother, 33, had lost weight dramatically by late 2013.

"He just didn't look like my brother," she said.

She believed the ice addiction was taking a toll.

"The more I learnt, the more I wanted him off the drug," she said. "He always lied to me ... He would say 'I'm doing all right'."

A former forestry crew boss from Tin Can Bay recalled the day Mr Barker's remains were found.

"We came across a skull ... about 20 rows into the block ... It looked like it had been burnt and shot."

The trial continues.

- NewsRegional



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