Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Laine Clark

'Nasty' woman blamed for chipper death

Gregory Roser (centre) denies being the killer, instead pointing the finger at a woman and man. (PR HANDOUT IMAGE PHOTO) (AAP)

Soon after connecting online, Gregory Lee Roser says a woman he hardly knew asked him to kill a man he hadn't met.

Months later, Roser helped feed Bruce Saunders' body into a woodchipper, a court has heard.

But Roser has told a Brisbane Supreme Court jury that he did not kill Mr Saunders, instead pointing the finger at a "nasty, murderous" woman and a man allegedly with Mafia connections.

Roser, 63, and Sharon Graham, 61, have pleaded not guilty to murder after Mr Saunders died while working on a property north of Brisbane in November 2017.

The Crown alleges Graham asked Roser and another lover Peter Koenig to kill her ex-partner Mr Saunders, 54, and make it look like an accident in a bid to claim his $750,000 life insurance.

Footage has been shown to the jury of Mr Saunders' legs protruding from the chipper at the Goomboorian property near Gympie after clearing trees with Roser and Koenig.

Roser agreed on Thursday that soon after meeting online in March 2017, Graham had asked him to murder Mr Saunders.

"Because he was pissing her off and he had plenty of money," Roser said.

First she wanted Mr Saunders to be killed at the Nambour home he shared with Graham, Roser said.

He refused but wrote down instructions from Graham on how to get into the house and the dates to do it after she raised her voice.

"I didn't think she was serious at all," Roser said.

By July 2017, Roser said Graham gave him a gun "out of the blue" that was provided by Koenig.

"I took it (gun) off her to quiet her down," he said.

Graham first planned for Mr Saunders to be shot on his way to or near his workplace by Roser, the court heard.

Roser said he again refused but wrote down more notes, with Graham this time detailing Mr Saunders' work schedule.

"Every time I said no to her (about killing Mr Saunders) she ended up chucking a big turn, screaming and yelling and all that," he said.

Roser said he returned the gun but Koenig and Graham began pressuring him to kill Mr Saunders.

Roser said Koenig suggested suitable secluded spots for murder as the pair drove around but he ruled them out.

He said the drive was one of the occasions Koenig claimed to have killed someone, laughing while telling him he had pushed someone into a meat grinder at an Adelaide abattoir.

Graham had also told him Koenig had "dangerous criminal associates", Roser said.

"She said Peter had a Mafia connection and he knows people who can ... get rid of you," he told court.

By mid-October 2017, Roser said Graham shared her plan to kill Mr Saunders while clearing a friend's property, making it look like an accident, using the chipper.

On the final day of work Roser said he was under pressure with Koenig telling him "we have to get rid of him" and Graham demanding he "hurry up and do the job" in abusive texts.

Roser said he still refused and kept working as the sun set before he heard what he sounded like a "couple of whip cracks or gun shots", thinking it was a falling branch.

He then saw Mr Saunders slumped on the chipper with Koenig telling him "well, it is done now" before agreeing to help feed the body into the machine.

"I thought if I didn't do anything that he said to I would end up like Bruce," Roser said.

Mr Saunders' body went through the chipper in "one go", Roser said.

He said Koenig stopped the machine with Mr Saunders' legs sticking out, telling him "oh that should be enough".

Graham has successfully applied for a separate trial.

Roser's trial before Justice Martin Burns continues.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.