Barnett’s handbag found
THE surface of Chantal Barnett’s handbag was flaking off when it was handed over to police, a court was told.
Senior Constable Grant Wynne-Jones said he was working at the Rockhampton station the afternoon Malcolm Cheetham handed over the bag on October 8, 2014.
Senior Constable Wynne-Jones gave evidence in a double murder trial in the Supreme Court in Rockhampton where Ian Robert Armstrong and Daniel George Hong have pleaded not guilty to murdering Ms Barnett and Robert Martinez.
Constable Wynne-Jones said he put gloves on and placed the handbag in a plastic bag before trying to open it.
He said he used a knife to open the bag as the zipper was stuck.
He removed cash from the handbag, ladies underpants, a capped syringe, and a wallet.
A pair of sunglasses, a USB stick and a cigarette lighter were also found in the bag.
Constable Wynne-Jones said he handed the wallet to another police officer who opened it and ran checks on the cards, which revealed the bag belonged to Ms Barnett.
“I had only recently arrived in Rockhampton so I wasn’t aware of the missing persons case,” he said.
Constable Wynne-Jones said the officer immediately contacted the officer-incharge who came to the front counter with a scenes-of-crime officer.
Forensic coordinator at Rockhampton station Inspector Adrian Brock spoke about other items found in the bag upon further inspection.
These included $250 in notes, three sets of Holden car keys, a mobile phone, an alcohol wipe wrapper, and 15 unused syringes.
Insp Brock said there was no significant forensic evidence found in the handbag.
He also spoke about searches carried out at Mr Martinez’s home where Mr Martinez’s wallet and remains were found.
The court heard the search of Mr Martinez’s home took place on March 27, 2013.
A police diver found Mr Martinez’s wallet in a boggy paddock off Bowlin Rd on April 3, 2013, about 280m east of the bridge over Gavial Creek.