Accused High Country killer wins bid to withhold ‘explosive’ evidence

Lawyers for alleged killer Gregory Lynn have won a bid to keep his police interview withheld from the public ahead of a possible Supreme Court murder trial.

Defence counsel Dermot Dann, KC, applied for a gag order late last week arguing the interview, which occurred over numerous days in November 2021, contained “explosive” information contained in the recordings that could have a detrimental impact on any upcoming trial.

Russell Hill and Carol Clay.

Despite opposition from lawyers representing numerous media outlets, magistrate Brett Sonnet granted the suppression order, which prevents the publication of any details contained in Lynn’s police interview or a statement obtained during the first visit police made to his home in July 2020.

Hill, 74, and Clay, 73, were last heard from on March 20, 2020, while camping in the Wonnangatta Valley in Victoria’s High Country.

Police allege Lynn killed the pair before burning their bodies at a second location north of Dargo.

Lynn was arrested and charged with two counts of murder in November 2021.

A court sketch of accused killer Greg Lynn.Credit:Nine News

The remains of the missing campers were located during a search of remote bushland on November 30, 2021.

Detectives investigating the deaths obtained more than 5000 covert recordings from Lynn’s home and car before his ultimate arrest at a remote Victorian camping ground.

Melbourne Magistrates’ Court heard as part of the police investigation, detectives analysed thousands of secretly obtained recordings – varying from one minute to 30 minutes long – from covert devices placed in Lynn’s Nissan Patrol and his home in Caroline Springs.

During Monday’s hearing, the court heard police began monitoring and using listening devices in September 2021.

Detective Leading Senior Constable Daniel Passingham said as part of his role in the missing person’s squad unit investigation, he’d listened to about 3000 of those by the time police learned Lynn was en route to Arbuckle Junction, where he was ultimately arrested.

The court also heard forensic officers investigating Hill and Clay’s deaths were asked to examine whether it was plausible for Clay to have been shot in the head with a 12-gauge shotgun while Hill and Lynn wrestled over the weapon near the bonnet of Hill’s ute in the Wonnangatta Valley, on March 20, 2020.

Ballistics expert Paul Griffiths revealed he was asked to recreate possible scenarios where a woman of Clay’s height – about 160 centimetres – could have been shot during a possible struggle for a firearm.

This included examining three scenarios where Clay could have been standing, semi crouched or crouching at the rear of the utility when a bullet travelled through the passenger side mirror and struck Clay to the head.

Griffiths said while he couldn’t rule out either of the three scenarios, the possibility a woman of Clay’s height was standing at the time she was shot was “plausible”.

He wasn’t asked to give any opinion on whether in that potential scenario the firearm may have been fired accidentally or deliberately.

Last week, the court heard that police allege Lynn, a former Jetstar pilot, left his home in a dark-coloured 1997 Nissan Patrol on March 16, 2020, and travelled to the Wonnangatta Valley.

Police believe he set up camp there shortly before Hill and Clay arrived to stay at the same campsite.

It was there police allege Lynn got into an altercation with the pair before killing them with “murderous intent”, using his trailer to move their remains to another location.

Lynn, who has denied the murder charges, is currently facing a hearing before a magistrate to determine whether his case will proceed to trial.

The hearing continues.

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