The Murder Trial of three Cooloola Coast fishermen – Witness: They asked me to ‘babysit’ esky murder victim

A key witness in the murder trial of three Cooloola Coast fishermen was a long-time commercial rival of one of the accused and suspected him of sleeping with his ex-lover. The revelation came during day three of the trial against commercial fisherman Stephen “Snoopy” Armitage, his son Matthew Leslie Armitage and their friend William Francis Dean who are accused of torturing Gold Coast man Shaun Barker and keeping him in an esky (cooler) before burning and dumping his body. Tin Can Bay fisherman Matthew Paul Dean, 39 claims he was asked to “babysit” the trio’s alleged victim who was said to be “tied up in the forestry” with smashed knee caps and a missing finger in December, 2013. In a fiery exchange with Stephen Armitage’s barrister late Thursday, Mr Dean was forced to admit he and “Snoopy” had been at war over the same fishing zone patch near Double Island Point for decades and had had a “falling out” not long before Mr Barker was allegedly killed. Read the story here 11:35