HEAT GOES ON IN JONES COLD CASE

Per­sons of in­ter­est to take stand af­ter Supreme Court rul­ing

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - LUCY SMITH lucy.smith@news.com.au

TWO peo­ple of in­ter­est in the dis­ap­pear­ance of hitch­hiker An­thony “Tony” Jones al­most 35 years ago are ex­pected to take the wit­ness stand for the first time next week.

Kevin Wright and John Eas­taughffe were last year com­pelled to tes­tify af­ter an ap­pli­ca­tion to be ex­cused from giv­ing ev­i­dence to an inquest into the cold case was re­jected in the Supreme Court.

A two- week inquest hear­ing will start at the Townsville courthouse on Mon­day.

Mr Wright’s sis­ter and niece and fam­ily mem­bers of Mr Eas­taughffe are among the 18 wit­nesses sched­uled to tes­tify.

Tony Jones’ broth­ers Mark and Brian Jones have trav­elled to Townsville in prepa­ra­tion for the inquest. Mark Jones said the inquest had been a long time com­ing and he did not know what to ex­pect.

“We’re hop­ing we’ve got enough to put an end to the mys­tery but if we haven’t, we hope that we con­tinue un­til we can re­solve it,” he said.

Mr Jones urged mem­bers of the pub­lic to come for­ward if they knew any­thing about the 35- year- old cold case.

“There’s still miss­ing pieces, there’s still peo­ple hold­ing back. There’s still miss­ing in­gre­di­ents that could make a dif­fer­ence here,” he said.

“Any­one sit­ting back watch­ing – now’s the time to come for­ward. We’re quite sure that there’s others out there that are not quite sure whether to come for­ward.”

Tony Jones, 20, dis­ap­peared on or around Novem­ber 3, 1982. On that day he made a call to fam­ily in Western Aus­tralia from a phone box in Townsville, in­di­cat­ing he would hitch­hike to meet his brother in Mount Isa.

In 2002 a coroner found Mr Jones had been the vic­tim of a homi­cide and a sec­ond inquest was or­dered in 2010.

In inquest hear­ings held last Septem­ber, two of Mr Wright’s former part­ners, Natalie Parker and Geral­dine La­mont-Stan­field, claimed they were told about an al­leged killing.

Ms Parker said Mr Wright once came home af­ter drink­ing and al­legedly told her he had killed some­one.

She said he al­legedly spoke of a fight with “Johnny”, where an­other man was knocked out.

Ms Parker claimed Mr Wright told her the men put the man’s body in the back of a ve­hi­cle and drove to “Nobby’s place” to get help to dis­pose of him. “He said noth­ing would ever be found … that they had burn­ing pits at the slaughter yards,” she told the inquest.

Po­lice of­fi­cers de­tec­tive Su­per­in­ten­dent Ray Ro­hweder, de­tec­tive Se­nior Sergeant John Ma­hony and de­tec­tive Sergeant Brendan Stevenson will be the first to tes­tify on Mon­day morn­ing.

Mr Eas­taughffe is sched­uled to give ev­i­dence on Wednes­day and Thurs­day and Mr Wright is ex­pected to tes­tify on Thurs­day and Fri­day. As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Mike Condon is sched­uled to be the fi­nal wit­ness to take the stand.

At the end of the two- week sit­ting, the State Coroner will de­cide whether a fur­ther hear­ing is re­quired or will ad­journ the inquest for find­ings to be handed down at a later date.

WE’RE HOP­ING WE’VE GOT ENOUGH TO PUT AN END TO THE MYS­TERY MARK JONES

MAIN PLAY­ERS PLAY­ERS: Tony Jones ( main), who has been miss­ing since Novem­ber 1982; per­sons of in­ter­est in the inquest into his dis­ap­pear­ance Kevin Wright ( above left) and John Eas­taughffe ( above right); Tony Jones’ brother Mark Jones ( in­set right).

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