TRIAL: Jury wants to play back evidence of two witnesses
UPDATE 4PM: A MACKAY District Court jury has requested to rehear evidence from two witnesses who testified in the trial against a mother accused of helping her son flee the country and then lying about his death.
The jury began deliberating at 11.57am today after hearing from 20 witnesses over six days.
Elizabeth Anne Turner is charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice and three counts of perjury over Australian Federal Police allegations she helped her son abscond from Australia a month before his cocaine smuggling trial and then lied to the supreme court about her conduct.
Police allege she gave false testimony that she believed he had taken his own life during a hearing to claim back the $520,000 she had put up to secure his bail following his arrest in 2011.
Markis Turner fled the country in August 2015 and was arrested in the Philippines in September 2017.
During the first hour of deliberations, the jury requested to relisten to the evidence of Crown witness John Neller, who sold Mrs Turner and her son a 36ft (11m) oceangoing yacht named Shangri-La for $75,000 in July 2013, and Mr Turner’s wife Magdalena Turner.
Mrs Turner, who gave evidence via videolink from Poland, claimed she left Australia in July 2015 to get away from her husband because his behaviour and mental health had deteriorated.
Prosecution accused Mrs Turner of lying in her testimony to help her mother-in-law.
Presiding Judge Suzanne Sheridan said the jury would have access to transcripts of the evidence for one hour.
“The direction to give to you in that respect is to ensure of course that that’s just one piece of the evidence that you need to be making reference to,” Judge Sheridan said, adding the jury was not to “place emphasis over one piece of the evidence”.
“You need to consider all of the evidence.”
Judge Sheridan told the jury there was the option to play a recording of the evidence however “particularly with Magdalena Turner’s evidence you were asked to leave a number of times” and said it would become “quite disruptive”.
The jury will have the transcripts for one hour this afternoon.
UPDATE 12.30PM: A JURY empanelled in the case against a fugitive’s mum accused of helping her son flee Australia has retired to deliberate on a verdict.
Elizabeth Anne Turner has pleaded not guilty to attempting to pervert the court of justice between 2013 and 2017 and three counts of perjury in 2016.
Australian Federal Police allege she willingly helped her son Markis Scott Turner escape the country to avoid a drug smuggling and trafficking trial that had been listed for September 2015.
It is also alleged she gave false testimony to the supreme court about her conduct and her belief her son had taken his own life.
The 66 year old claims she had no idea and played no part in his escape.
Presiding Judge Suzanne Sheridan began her directions to the jury at 9.30am today.
The jury began deliberations just before noon today.
INITIAL: A MACKAY jury is expected to begin deliberations later today in the case against a mother accused of helping her fugitive son flee the country.
Markis Scott Turner was facing up to 25 years jail if convicted of serious cocaine smuggling trafficking and possession charges.
Australian Federal Police arrested Mr Turner in 2011 but he absconded four years later by sailing a yacht out of Australia in August 2015, a month before his supreme court trial date.
He was later arrested in the Philippines on September 15, 2017 where he remains in custody.
His mother Elizabeth Anne Turner has pleaded not guilty in Mackay District Court to attempting to pervert the course of justice and three counts of perjury over allegations she helped her son escape and then lied to the supreme court about her conduct and his death.
Prosecution allege she helped him buy and do up a 36ft (11m) ocean-going yacht named Shangri-La then gave false testimony that she believed Mr Turner had taken his own life.
But Mrs Turner claims she had no idea and played no part in Mr Turner’s escape and he had done so using her money and details, making it look like she was involved.
Her lawyers say she is innocent in Mr Turner’s deceit.
This morning presiding Judge Suzanne Sheridan will give her directions to the jury following the six-day trial during which 20 witnesses gave evidence.
The eight-woman, four man jury will then begin deliberations.