Aaron Bunch Journalist with Australian Associated Press | Collection of published work | + 61 484 008 119 | abunch@aap.com.au

Aaron Bunch
Murdered Qld drug dealer knew he would die

A murdered drug dealer who was bashed, stabbed and shoved into a toolbox before being dumped in a creek knew he would die, a court has been told.

January 7, 2020

A murdered drug dealer knew he was going to die when his killers ordered him into a toolbox that they later dumped into a creek with him inside, a Queensland court has been told.

Cory Breton and Iuliana Triscaru’s decomposing bodies were found in February 2016 after police pulled the large metal box from Scrubby Creek, south of Brisbane.

The pair had been lured to a unit in Kingston and assaulted by a group of men 18 days earlier after Mr Breton told a friend he had a photo of a fellow drug dealer on his phone, the Brisbane Supreme Court has been told.

Prosecutor David Meredith says this photo of Stou Daniels – who ordered the pair into the box – is central to the murder trial of Tuhirangi-Thomas Tahiata, 28.

Tahiata has pleaded not guilty to both murders.

But another drug dealer, Lelan Harrington, says Tahiata and a man named Trent Thrupp drove off with the toolbox on Tahiata’s ute.

He next saw them later that night.

“(Tahiata) jumped out (of the ute), he had no shirt on and had mud splattered up his chest and said it was done,” he said.

In the hours before that, the pair was bound, gagged, bashed and knifed before Daniels ordered them into the toolbox, Harrington said.

Asked what Mr Breton said as he stepped into the two-metre box, Harrington replied: “Help, I’m going to die”.

“I didn’t know what to do,” he said.

Harrington, who has been convicted of deprivation of liberty and assault for his part in the crimes against the pair, said he didn’t initially believe the men would kill the duo.

“I just didn’t think any of them had the stomach to murder two people who had kids.

“(I thought) they were just going to scare them and let them go.

“I didn’t know what they planning to do,” he said.

Harrington agreed with defence lawyer Chris Minnery he had an opportunity to help Ms Triscaru escape on the day but instead alerted the men when she fought her way out of the box.

“I said it loud so everyone could hear in the house … I yelled it that she was getting away,” he said.

The court heard Harrington then helped hold Ms Triscaru down before the men put her back into the toolbox.

The trial continues on Friday.

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