News

Murder a 'drug rip-off gone wrong'

A TWEED man accused of taking part in the murder of Bilambil motor bike enthusiast Luke Ogilvie, whose house was then destroyed by fire, claims it had been “a drug rip-off that went wrong”.

It was revealed in Lismore Local Court that Mr Ogilvie's Harley Davidson motor bike was stolen along with other items including his safe that held Monopoly money.

Some details emerged during an unsuccessful bail application by Graham Keys Smith, 27, of Tweed Heads who, along with three other men, is charged with the murder of Mr Ogilvie on March 26, and robbery in company.

The other men charged with his murder are brothers Benjamin and Andrew Biffin, and Nicholas McCulloch.

The Biffins and McCulloch are also charged with destroying Mr Ogilvie's house by fire.

Smith's defence lawyer Cameron Bell said the Crown's case of murder against his client was not strong, with the post mortem unable to determine the cause of death.

Opposing bail the Crown prosecutor said Smith went to the house in Urliup Road with other men who he knew as people who would go and rip-off drug dealers.

The Crown said Smith was the one who took them to the house.

The prosecutor acknowledged the Crown case was one of “common purpose” regarding the robbery-in-company charge, as Smith had allegedly organised it. He also had prior matters of violence on his record.

It was revealed there were “eight to 10 stab marks” in the roof of a car used by the men that suggested violence, and the Crown also claimed there was evidence the men took drugs before going to Mr Ogilvie's house.

“The evidence of this accused is the (other) three men later returned to the house with a jerry can of fuel without him,” the prosecutor said.

Magistrate R. Denes said she had read the facts the men were going to the house in the middle of the night.

“For a drug rip-off,” said Mr Bell.

Ms Denes said Smith had nominated this man (Mr Ogilvie) almost out of revenge.

“For an assault on the mother of a friend,” said Mr Bell.Ms Denes refused the bail application and adjourned the matter to December 21.



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