Truckie shot in highway ambush: Crown

TWO members of a motorcycle club had acted in a 'joint criminal enterprise' to murder Yamba truck driver Jonathon Koen, sittings of the District Court in Grafton heard yesterday.

The court was told that two members of the Outcasts Motorcycle Club, David Charles Brown and Spyro Sophiadakis, wanted to kill Mr Koen.

Mr Koen allegedly was shot at close range on the side of the Pacific Highway on May 26, 2004.

In his opening address, the Crown prosecutor alleged that between 8.30pm and 10pm, the two men tried to shoot Mr Koen as he sat in his prime mover filling out a logbook.

The prosecutor told the court that on the morning of the shooting, Mr Koen, a former president of the Outcasts Motorcycle Club, had been looking for work.

It is alleged that Mr Koen had organised a trucking trip to Sydney on the night of May 26 with Sophiadakis.

The court was told Koen and Sophiadakis left Koen's home in Banksia Place, Yamba, shortly after 8.30pm.

The two men stopped on the side of the road about 11kms from the intersection of the Wooli Road and Pacific Highway intersection, where Mr Koen, who had been sitting in the driver's seat of the truck began to fill out a vehicle log book. At the time, Sophiadakis was not in the truck.

Soon after, Brown appeared at the driver's window and allegedly shot Mr Koen in the right side of the chest.

It was alleged that Brown attempted to fire the gun a second time, but the pistol jammed, so he jumped from the vehicle.

Mr Koen 'accelerated away as fast as he could' but was ambushed again, this time by Sophiadakis, who the court heard had been 'holding onto the truck with his left hand and holding a pistol in the right hand'.

With a fresh gunshot wound, Mr Koen attempted to shake Sophiadakis from the truck, driving about 800m down the highway before the truck stopped in some bushes.

The court also heard that on the day after the shooting, police located one magazine containing seven live .45 calibre cartridges and one live .32 calibre cartridge in a grassed area near the prime mover.

The trial's first witness was Coffs Harbour Crime Section NSW Forensic Group leading senior constable Mark James Griffiths.

Snr Cst Griffiths underwent extensive cross examination throughout the afternoon.

George Ikners, on behalf of Sophiadakis, asked Snr Cst Griffiths about the security of the crime scene, who had come into contact with the prime mover and the thoroughness of Snr Cst Griffiths' initial searches of the highway crime scene.

The court heard that the crime scene had not been fully cordoned off while police searches of the area were being conducted.

Snr Cst Griffiths was unable to say exactly who had come into contact with the crime scene while he was not there.

Mr Ikners also pointed to information that vital ballistics evidence was not found at the crime scene until hours after initial forensic examinations had been completed.

The court heard that ballistic evidence was located after a Clarence Valley Council worker alerted police to an area where he had seen the truck driving on the night of the shooting.

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