Pistol ‘had been used’
ONE of the Gold Coast’s oldest cold cases, the murder of Philip Carlyle in 1997, is before the courts.
More than 20 years after the businessman was found slain in his Robina office, witnesses have faced crossexamination in what is set down to be a four-day committal hearing at the Southport Magistrates Court.
Carlyle’s former business partner Neil Andrew Pentland is charged with murdering the Gold Coast father.
The pair operated an IT company that police allege was in strife before Mr Carlyle’s death and the subsequent payout from a $500,000 life insurance policy.
John Hitchens, a Reedy Creek mechanic and friend of Pentland, has been charged as being an accessory to the murder.
Yesterday Hitchens’ former girlfriend, Dagmar Peyrac, told the court about a handgun she saw inside a kitchen before Carlyle was killed.
Under cross-examination from Hitchens’ defence barrister Craig Eberhardt, Ms Peyrac said she remembered Hitchens telling her he had lent a gun to Pentland and it had come back to him used.
The court was told Ms Peyrac’s son told her police were going to interview her in 2016 so she read up on the case online.
She said the information helped jog her memory before talking to police.
She said Hitchens “couldn’t and he wouldn’t” have been involved in the crime by lending a gun.
“I believe John is innocent and he had nothing to do with it,” Ms Peyrac said.
The court also heard from Hitchens’ friend David Nunn.
Nurse Billy Raymond Allen, a police officer’s son who phoned Crime Stoppers with information about Hitchens after reading articles in the media, was also cross-examined.
A geochemist, Emeritus Professor Kenneth Collerson, was quizzed about cutting edge technology into identifying lead isotopes. Tests on bullets found at the scene were considered a breakthrough in the case.
The hearing continues.
Victim Philip Carlyle and John Hitchens, who is charged with being an accessory to Mr Carlyle’s murder.