Gympie Police and SES crews conducting a search at the Goomboorian property where Bruce Saunders died in a woodchipper in November 2017. Two men have faced Maroochydore Magistrates Court this week as witnesses gave evidence during a committal hearing. Photo: Josh Preston
Gympie Police and SES crews conducting a search at the Goomboorian property where Bruce Saunders died in a woodchipper in November 2017. Two men have faced Maroochydore Magistrates Court this week as witnesses gave evidence during a committal hearing. Photo: Josh Preston

Woodchip kill accused 'planned one-way' fisho trip for Bruce

MONTHS before he was found head first in an industrial woodchipper, a court has heard one of Bruce Saunders' alleged killers asked her ex to take him on a one-way fishing trip.

Mr Saunders was allegedly murdered at Tinana Rd, Goomboorian near Gympie on November 12, 2017.

Sharon Graham, 55, Peter John Koenig, 62, and Gregory Lee Roser, 60, were charged with the Nambour man's murder and attempting to pervert justice.

Barry Collins, 69, gave evidence today that he thought his ex-partner, Ms Graham, was joking when she asked him to "take Bruce fishing and Bruce not come back".

The court heard Mr Collins made a police statement that on a separate occasion Ms Graham said a property would be cleared, and "there was going to be an accident".

Sharon Graham, 55, is awaiting a Supreme Court trial on allegations she helped murder Nambour man Bruce Saunders, and attempted to pervert justice.
Sharon Graham, 55, is awaiting a Supreme Court trial on allegations she helped murder Nambour man Bruce Saunders, and attempted to pervert justice.

The claims came during day two of a committal hearing involving Mr Koenig and Mr Roser. Ms Graham will face a Supreme Court trial on a date to be fixed, waiving her right to a prior examination of prosecution evidence.

Mr Collins gave his evidence from the Broken Hill Correctional Centre via videolink while serving a prison sentence for unrelated offences.

In his statement, Mr Collins said: "I just want to get this information off my chest, it has been tearing at me."

Nambour man Bruce Saunders (left) died at a Goomboorian property in November 2017. Gregory Roser (top left) and Peter Koenig (top right) have faced court this week charged with Mr Saunders' alleged murder. Photos: Contributed
Nambour man Bruce Saunders (left) died at a Goomboorian property in November 2017. Gregory Roser (top left) and Peter Koenig (top right) have faced court this week charged with Mr Saunders' alleged murder. Photos: Contributed

"Initially when (the death) was declared an accident I just thought 'well, it was an accident', which was possible, it wasn't for a long time that I thought maybe there was something wrong," Mr Collins told the court.

Barrister for Mr Roser, Simon Lewis, questioned why Mr Collins never told police about these alleged conversations with Ms Graham until July 2019 and suggested his evidence was self-serving.

Mr Collins told the court while in prison he had "got solace" from a local pastor, who advised he "unburden" information which had weighed heavily upon him.

Mr Collins and Mr Koenig had worked together for 11 years, during which time Mr Collins said Mr Koenig had expressed "unrequited love" for Mr Collins' partner at the time, Ms Graham.

Sharon Saunders is charged with murder and attempting to pervert justice. Photo: Patrick Woods
Sharon Saunders is charged with murder and attempting to pervert justice. Photo: Patrick Woods

He also described Mr Koenig's feelings for her as "common knowledge".

Mr Lewis questioned the timing of Mr Collins' statement and put it to him that Mr Collins' was a "mess" given he was facing jail time at the age of 69.

Mr Collins claimed he had "been a mess" before that. He also told the court he had given Mr Koenig a revolver gun that he had owned for self-protection.

Mr Lewis suggested Mr Collins only told police this information in a statement to "get dirt in" on Mr Koenig, and there was no suggestion Mr Saunders had been shot.