Separate trials for accused shooters



THE two men accused of trying to murder Yamba truck driver Jonathon Koen will now be trialed separately.

When the sitting of the District Court in Grafton resumed after lunch yesterday, Judge Geraghty told the court that David Charles Brown's trial would be delayed to a later date.

Sophiadakis and Brown have been charged with shooting Mr Koen with the intent of killing him on May 26, 2004. Brown is expected to appear in the Sydney District Court on Friday, February 17, to list a trial date.

Judge Geraghty told jury members that Sophiadakis' trial would continue at the District Court in Grafton.

"Some matters occurred overnight which needed immediate attention and as a result Mr Brown is no longer in the dock," Judge Geraghty said.

"You must not assume ... that David Brown will not stand trial, nor must you assume that Sophiadakis is guilty because he remains in the dock."

Judge Geraghty reminded the jury the State Prosecution was leading its case on the basis that Brown and Sophiadakis acted in a joint criminal enterprise.

Judge Geraghty used the example of a bank robbery and said if two people robbed a bank and one was the getaway driver, both are guilty of the crime.

"If you (jury members) find that he was part of that enterprise, even if he did not fire the gun, he is guilty of the charge," Judge Geraghty said.

Sophiadakis, attired in a dark suit and green shirt, remained in the dock for the rest of the afternoon.

His legal representative, George Ickners, completed his cross examination of Mr Koen.

During cross examination the court heard that Mr Koen had only been out of a three-month coma for one week when he was required to make a police statement about what happened on the night he allegedly was shot.

A number of times throughout the trial Mr Koen has given evidence that is inconsistent with the statement he made to police on July 11, 2004.

Mr Koen said that at the time of making the statement he had been under the influence of both methadone and morphine and felt like 's__t'.

Mr Ickners also asked Mr Koen to clarify whether it was Brown or Sophiadakis he had been calling on the day of the alleged shooting.



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