‘ We would have known’ Fam­ily dis­misses claims of in­volve­ment in cold case mys­tery as ab­surd

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - CHRIS MCMAHON chris. mcmahon@ news. com. au

RELATIVES of John Eas­taughffe, a person of in­ter­est in the dis­ap­pear­ance of Tony Jones, have de­nied he had any in­volve­ment in the al­most 35year- old mys­tery.

Mem­bers of the Eas­taughffe fam­ily were yes­ter­day ques­tioned dur­ing an in­quest into the cold case about John Eas­taughffe’s move­ments around Novem­ber 1982, and asked if he had told them he was in­volved in any way what hap­pened to Mr Jones.

Robert Eas­taughffe, who had worked with Kevin Wright, an­other person of in­ter­est in the case, told the in­quest it was “ridicu­lous” to sug­gest his brother had any­thing to do with the mys­tery.

“If John was in any sort of trou­ble he would have come to me. We were that close,” Robert Eas­taughffe said. “I’m aware of the al­le­ga­tions but I think it’s ridicu­lous, it’s ab­surd.

“Be­ing his older brother, I’ve in­quired and tried to talk to him about it, but it’s some­thing he’s not pre­pared to dis- in cuss. He wouldn’t sit down and talk to me about this … I was voic­ing my opin­ion, but it’s not some­thing he’s dis­cussed.”

Robert Eas­taughffe also told the in­quest he knew Mr Wright well and had worked with him for a num­ber of years.

“Kevin was a hard bloke to work for. He never phys­i­cally threat­ened any­body but he was a hard taskmas­ter,” he said.

“Kevin was the sort of bloke that had what I call ‘ lit­tle man syn­drome’, al­ways felt that he had to in­tim­i­date peo­ple but be­cause of his size he was wast­ing his time. I don’t think he re­ally meant it, it was just his way of try­ing to con­trol the crew.

“When he got des­per­ate, he would pull some­thing out of left field to try and hang on … even with work. I’ve been around Kevin at dif­fer­ent times when he’s got ag­gres­sive with women and said silly things.”

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

Ms Parker said Mr Wright had spo­ken of a fight with “Johnny”, where an­other man was knocked out.

She claimed Mr Wright told her the pair put the man’s body in the back of a ve­hi­cle to get help to dis­pose of him.

Norma Eas­taughffe, John Eas­taughffe’s mother, also told the in­quest yes­ter­day that her son re­fused to talk about the dis­ap­pear­ance of Mr Jones.

“It’s up­set him too much that all this crap is go­ing on and he just says ‘ don’t talk about it’,” she said.

When asked if her son had ever spo­ken to her about Mr Wright killing a person, she replied “no, that’s ridicu­lous”.

“We were a close fam­ily. If John had done some­thing we would know. Even the ridicu­lous part about the body be­ing cut up and ev­ery­thing, I did the wash­ing, I would have known,” Mrs Eas­taughffe said.

John Eas­taughffe and Mr Wright are both sched­uled to give ev­i­dence to the in­quest hear­ing this week.

Pic­ture: FIONA HARDING

UN­DER THE HAMMER: Townsville artist Cameron Rush­ton is putting the fi­nal touches on his Strand Ephe­mera sculp­ture.

John Eas­taughffe ( left) and his brother Robert Eas­taughffe.

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