Search of bush site de­nied by coroner

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

THE fam­ily of miss­ing hitch­hiker Tony Jones have spo­ken of their dis­ap­point­ment af­ter Coroner Terry Ryan de­nied their re­quest to search slaugh­ter yards in Hugh­en­den.

Mark and Brian Jones’s sub­mis­sion to use ground- pen­e­trat­ing radar to cap­ture anom­alies un­der the slaugh­ter yards’ burn­ing pits was de­nied on the last day of the in­quest into the dis­ap­pear­ance of their brother yes­ter­day.

The Jones fam­ily even of­fered to fund the ex­pe­di­tion but Coroner Ryan de­nied the re­quest, agree­ing with the bar­ris­ter rep­re­sent­ing the po­lice, Michael Ni­col­son, that there was a lack of ev­i­dence that would sug­gest Jones’s re­mains were buried at the yards.

“The ( Queens­land Po­lice) ser­vice’s po­si­tion is that there is no ev­i­dence of sus­pi­cion that would jus­tify giv­ing a war­rant to con­duct a search of that premises,” Mr Ni­col­son said.

Coun­sel as­sist­ing the Coroner Stephanie Wil­liams said the sub­mis­sion was an at­tempt to get around a search war­rant.

“Given that there is a lack of ev­i­dence … for a search war­rant … and that there has been no con­sent by the prop­erty owner… to use your hon­our’s power to di­rect such a search of the prop­erty would be an im­proper use of that power,” she said. “It would be an at­tempt to ob­tain a search war­rant through a back door.”

Out­side of the in­quest, Mark Jones ( above) said it was a dis­ap­point­ing end.

“We thought th­ese sit­tings would be a time to talk about what should hap­pen out at the slaugh­ter yards in terms of ex­ca­va­tions,” he said.

“We’d made some sub­mis­sions to the coroner … and to be ty­ing up th­ese pro­ceed­ings with­out even talk­ing about it is pretty dis­ap­point­ing.

“It won’t be over for us and it won’t be over for the peo­ple who have been ac­cused of be­ing in­volved in my brother’s death for as long as there is no ex­ca­va­tion of the slaugh­ter yards, where the al­le­ga­tions are that Tony’s body has been dis­posed of in the most hor­rific of cir­cum­stances.

“That will hang over those slaugh­ter yards for­ever, un­til this is re­solved.

“The guilty need to be pun­ished, the in­no­cent need to be cleared and we need to take our brother’s re­mains home and give him a burial.”

Mr Jones said a lot of ev­i­dence was un­cov­ered by the in­quest and hoped the Coroner con­sid­ered it all care­fully.

“It was all there in the ma­te­rial. I guess there’s just an un­known fac­tor of what th­ese guys are go­ing to say in the stand,” he said.

“I think there was some in­crim­i­nat­ing tes­ti­mony there. It’s highly nu­anced, but gee, some al­i­bis were blown out of the wa­ter and some peo­ple who needed to ex­plain a few things failed to do so.

“If any­thing it’s just con­firmed what we thought com­ing into this about the guilt of cer­tain par­ties.”

Coroner Terry Ryan said he hoped to have his find­ings ready by the end of this year. SHE’S aboutabo t t to swap­wap The Strand for the cat­walks of New York. Mother of two Me­lanie Bock will be joined by Townsville men nick­named “the Jack­sons” – Jaxon An­der­son, 18, and Jack­son Baker, 20 – at New York Fash­ion Week. The trio were se­lected by tal­ent scouts of the Ozlink Fash­ion Pro­gram af­ter a na­tion­wide search. While in New York the Townsville mod­els will walk the run­way, take part in in­dus­try train­ing, ed­u­ca­tional work­shops and photo shoots. They will also ex­pe­ri­ence show cast­ings and in­ter­views with agents. Mrs Bock broke into tears of hap­pi­ness when she found out she had been cho­sen. “I was just so ex­cited. It’s the fash­ion cap­i­tal of the world.” Mrs Bock said the price of the trip was “re­stric­tive” but she and her hus­band had taken out a loan and re­ceived some help from fam­ily and friends on a GoFundMe page ti­tled “Help me live my dream”. Her love of ev­ery­thing fash­ion started young. “I’ve al­ways wanted to do mod­el­ling ever since I was in high school. I used to put on Mum’s heels, watch Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret and walk around the house,” she said. The 29- year- old spends her spare- time mod­el­ling in Townsville and has been in­volved with the lo­cal fash­ion group Townsville Col­lec­tive. “It’s like my out­let away from mum du­ties,” she said. “Oth­er­wise I’m at home with the kids all the time.” Di­rec­tor and chief scout for Ozlink Tal­ents Amanda O’Brien said Mrs Bock had ev­ery­thing needed to suc­ceed in the US. “She’s got a unique and dra­matic look. She’ll go well over there.” The mod­els will leave Aus­tralia on Septem­ber 7.

EX­CITED: Me­lanie Bock of North Ward is on her way to New York Fash­ion Week to model. Pic­ture: ZAK SIM­MONDS

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