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The Guardian - AU
The Guardian - AU
Nino Bucci

Court grants suppression order for evidence in accused Victoria campsite killer case

Russell Hill (L), 74, and Carol Clay (R), 73, went missing in the Wonnangatta Valley area of the Victorian high country in March.
Greg Lynn is charged with murdering Russell Hill (left) and Carol Clay who went missing in March 2020. Photograph: Victoria Police

A Victorian magistrate has granted a suppression order in the matter of Greg Lynn, a former airline pilot charged with the murder of two elderly campers.

Lynn, 56, is charged with murdering Russell Hill, 74, and Carol Clay, 73, who went missing in March 2020 while camping in the Wonnangatta Valley, north-east of Melbourne.

He is facing the Melbourne magistrates court for a committal hearing, which will determine whether there is enough evidence for him to stand trial.

Lawyers for Lynn applied for the suppression order last week, arguing that the disclosure of police statements and interviews given by Lynn could prejudice further court matters.

Magistrate Brett Sonnet granted the order on Monday morning. He prevented the publication of the whole or part of any material gained during a covert recording of Lynn taken by police on 14 July 2020, a statement given that same day, and a police interview between 22 and 25 November 2021 until the commencement of any jury trial.

The application was not opposed by the prosecution.

Lynn’s lawyer, Dermot Dann KC, told the court last week that a legal challenge to the admissibility of the police interviews and statement was likely.

Det Sen Con Abbey Justin, who, along with her colleague, was the first police member to speak with Lynn about the campers, gave evidence she recorded Lynn without his knowledge in July 2020.

Lynn provided his first statement to police that day. He was later formally interviewed by police over several days.

Also on Monday, the court heard police obtained 5,287 recordings of Lynn from listening devices that had been placed in his car and Caroline Springs home.

At the time Lynn was arrested in November 2021, Det Leading Sen Con Daniel Passingham told the court he had listened to 3150 of the recordings, which were between one minute and 30 minutes long.

The court has previously released a police summary of evidence to the media which indicated that police allege the recording devices captured Lynn speaking to himself about the deaths of Hill and Clay.

The court also heard on Monday from a police reconstruction expert who gave evidence he had tested a scenario in relation to the case.

Leading Sen Con Paul Griffiths tested whether it was possible that if two men wrestled at the bonnet of a Toyota Landcruiser for control of a shotgun, and the muzzle of the weapon was pointed towards the rear, that it could accidentally discharge, firing a shot through the passenger side rear mirror, and striking a person in the head who was positioned near the rear passenger side wheel of the vehicle.

He tested whether the person who was shot could be standing, crouching, or stooping, finding the scenarios ranged from plausible to highly unlikely.

Lynn is not required to enter a plea until the end of the committal hearing but Sonnet said last week that it was expected he would plead not guilty.

The hearing is expected to continue on Wednesday.

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