Fourth man charged in Toolara Forest skull case

A FOURTH man has been charged over the allegedly "horrific" last experiences of Shaun Barker, whose skull was found in Toolara Forest last April.

Two Cooloola Cove men, Stephen John Armitage, 45, and his son Matthew Leslie Armitage, 22, have already been charged - along with Gold Coast man William Francis Dean - with murder, torture, deprivation of liberty and interfering with a corpse.

Yesterday, a second Gold Coast man, Scott Healy, appeared in Southport Magistrates Court on charges of kidnapping, deprivation of liberty and torture.

Healy, 30, of Labrador, did not enter a plea, and was remanded to appear again next Wednesday for a bail hearing.

Detectives from the Gold Coast Southern Crime Group and the Homicide Investigation Group have been continuing their investigations into Mr Barker's disappearance in 2013.

His skull and other remains were found in Toolara Forest, near Cooloola Cove, on April 10 last year.

Police said they would allege Healy committed the offences between December 9 and 12, 2013.

Stephen Armitage was arrested last October at Brisbane Airport.

Dean had been living at Highfields, near Toowoomba, at the time of Mr Barker's death.

Police have alleged that Mr Barker, of Robina, was last seen alive at a Broadbeach service station and was kidnapped before being tortured at a Cooloola Cove home and murdered.

Forestry workers discovered Mr Barker's skull and other remains in the state forest on April 10, and police said there were signs the body had been burnt.

His car was found abandoned in Pacific Pines on the Gold Coast.

Prosecution allegations have included shocking claims that Mr Barker was put into an ice box, tortured, then zip-tied to a tree while honey was smeared over his genitals to attract ants, before being murdered.

His body was then allegedly burnt and dumped in the bush not far from Cooloola Cove.

Defence barrister Jeff Hunter said Matthew Armitage had no intention to kill Mr Barker.

"This is a case where a man's death came as a complete surprise to those involved. It certainly was not intentional," he said, describing the prosecution case as "weak and circumstantial, especially in relation to the murder charge".

There was no evidence his client had been violent towards the dead man, he said.

Gympie Times

Topics:  murder

Plenty of feud for Bruce's family

TV BECKONS: Miss9 discovers the joys of comparing Family Feud in the Devereaux household.

Bruce shares his hilarious tales of life with a big family

That was a crazy week

Women writing on paper with a pen on a white background.

Colin shares his views on the week that was.

Rattler business case raises plenty of questions

Gympie Regional Council wants to get the Rattler up and running again, but this letter writer says the business case has some serious flaws.

Mary Valley Rattler business case has plenty of holes: letter writer

Local Partners

Brad Pitt won't file legal response to divorce petition

Brad reportedly refused to send off the paperwork

Azealia Banks won't take legal action against Russell Crowe

Rapper Azealia Banks

Rapper drops legal action against Russell Crowe

Brad Pitt meets with his kids amid divorce proceedings

Actor Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt has met up with his oldest son Maddox

Pictures of Taylor Swift allegedly being groped are sealed

They could "complicate jury selection".

Bruce Springsteen finds therapy useful

Singer Bruce Springsteen

Singer encourages others to seek help

Kerry Washington wants one more child

Kerry Washington recently gave birth to her second child

Kerry has only just become a new mum again

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track