KILLER BE­HIND BARS

Killer’s claim be­fore mur­der: ‘I’ll make it look like an ac­ci­dent’

Chinchilla News - - FRONT PAGE - An­ton Rose

JUST shy of 1000 days since Dalby fa­ther-of-three Mark Wilkes was killed in his sleep, a man is be­hind bars for at least the next 20 years for his mur­der.

Ja­son Wil­liam Bin­ney pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court last week to mur­der, with the court hear­ing the tragedy came as a re­sult of a love-tri­an­gle turned deadly in the small town.

Bin­ney and the vic­tim’s es­tranged wife Letisha Finn started a re­la­tion­ship in the wake of her split from the de­ceased in 2015.

The court heard that dur­ing this ro­mance, Bin­ney had asked a man nu­mer­ous times to “tickle up” his part­ner’s ex while he was away in Her­vey Bay and had an al­ibi.

It was also heard that a wit­ness claimed the ac­cused told Ms Finn, “I’ll do away with him and I’ll make it look like an ac­ci­dent.”

In the wake of the killing, Bin­ney of­fered sym­pa­thies to the vic­tim’s fam­ily and asked that Face­book mes­sages declar­ing his shock at the blaze be screen­shot.

Jus­tice Martin Burns said Mr Wilkes died from be­ing struck in the head nu­mer­ous times with a ham­mer prior to a fire that en­gulfed his Dalby home on Jan­uary 20, 2016. Jus­tice Burns, how­ever, stopped short of blam­ing Bin­ney for the deadly blow, find­ing that he in­stead aided an­other in­di­vid­ual to carry out the at­tack on his be­half.

Bin­ney’s bar­ris­ter David Jones sub­mit­ted that his client would pro­vide a state­ment within two weeks to po­lice de­tail­ing the al­leged in­volve­ment of Ms Finn.

Mr Jones also sub­mit­ted that po­lice fur­ther look into her in­volve­ment.

“There is an­other per­son who should also be in the dock, and that is Ms Finn,” he said.

Crown pros­e­cu­tor Mark Green said Bin­ney, while on re­mand, con­fessed to an un­der­cover oper­a­tive that a Viet­nam vet­eran, who the ac­cused has never iden­ti­fied, agreed to kill the vic­tim as a favour for his late fa­ther.

Mr Wilkes’ sis­ter Myra read a vic­tim im­pact state­ment in the court, call­ing Bin­ney a “cold-blooded killer” and de­tailed her fam­ily’s grief since her brother’s death.

“It still haunts me to think how this es­ca­lated into a never-end­ing night­mare for our fam­ily,” she said.

Bin­ney was sen­tenced to life be­hind bars by Jus­tice Burns, who de­scribed him as a “coward and a craven”.

Bin­ney will be el­i­gi­ble for pa­role after serv­ing 20 years.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

GUILTY: Ja­son Wil­liam Bin­ney.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

VIC­TIM: Mark Wilkes.

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