David Eastman: Witness wore wire after man tried to sell him rifle similar to gun that killed Colin Winchester
A former Queanbeyan sports store owner has told the David Eastman trial he wore a wire to help police investigating the murder of Assistant Australian Federal Police Commissioner Colin Winchester.
Mr Eastman, 72, is facing trial for a second time on charges he shot Mr Winchester dead as he was getting out of his car on January 10, 1989.
Today, Denis Reid told the court that before the alleged murder a man had tried to sell him a Ruger rifle.
He said he had refused because the gun barrel had been threaded, and he told the seller that the gun was no good.
“You have rooted this barrel,” he said.
He also said the man would not leave his name or number and quickly left.
“I said to my son ‘get out there and get his number plate, I think that rifle’s hot’,” he said.
Mr Reid said he went to police after seeing a news report on the Ruger rifle believed to have been used in the crime, but was unable to identify the seller from police photo boards with a 100 per cent accuracy.
Secret recordings played for the court
The court has viewed footage and heard audio of incidents when Mr Reid wore a wire to help police.
In one recording, he speaks to someone who he believes was the man who tried to sell him the gun.
The murder weapon has never been found but a gun bag was shown to the court. (ABC News: Ian Cutmore)
“I remember you coming into my sports store; you had a rifle to sell,” he told the man.
The man denies any knowledge, but Mr Reid persists, saying: “I’m sure it was you.”
“I’ve never seen you before, not that I recall,” the man replies.
Mr Reid has not named Mr Eastman and told the court he pursued the conversation because he knew he had found the person for whom he was looking.
“By then I was 100 per cent sure that was the man that was in the shop,” he said.
Deceased gun-seller’s statements read
Earlier today, prosecutors read statements to the court from the man alleged to have sold the gun to Mr Eastman, Louis Klarenbeek, who has since died.
He described the man who bought the Ruger rifle he had advertised as being well-spoken, Australian and having a full head of red hair, which was greying.
He said he did not recognise the buyer from police photo boards, although his wife made statements suggesting he did and was too scared to say so.
It was spent shells fired from Mr Klarenbeek’s rifle at a Quarry near Captains Flat outside Canberra that linked that particular gun to the crime.
The gun has not been found since.