Shaun Barker who died in 2013 after being subjected to brutal acts of violence. Picture: Supplied
Shaun Barker who died in 2013 after being subjected to brutal acts of violence. Picture: Supplied

Esky killers ‘should get 10 years’ for brutal inhumane death

THREE men who subjected Shaun Barker to brutal acts of violence until his death - locking him in a fishing Esky and giving him drug-laced water - will be jailed for manslaughter.

Stephen John Armitage, 50, his son Matthew Leslie Armitage, 27, and William Francis Dean, 43, used "inhumane" means in a bid to extract information from the Gold Coast father about stolen drugs in 2013.

The trio were jailed for life after being convicted of Mr Barker's murder in 2018 - but the Queensland Court of Appeal downgraded the murder conviction to manslaughter and dropped the torture charges.

 

Cooloola Cove man Matthew Leslie Armitage is one of three people who will be jailed for the manslaughter of Shaun Barker.
Cooloola Cove man Matthew Leslie Armitage is one of three people who will be jailed for the manslaughter of Shaun Barker.

 

Cooloola Cove fishermen Stephen and Matthew Armitage and Dean, of Toowoomba, faced Brisbane Supreme Court on Tuesday, where Crown prosecutor Danny Boyle said all three had shown a "complete absence of remorse" and should be jailed for at least 10 years.

"Mr Barker was made to suffer physically and mentally over a protracted period in order to create a fear in him such that he may be able to provide information that they sought," Mr Boyle said.

 

Cooloola Cove man Stephen Armitage will be sentenced for manslaughter.
Cooloola Cove man Stephen Armitage will be sentenced for manslaughter.

 

The court was told that after being lured to a house near Gympie, Mr Barker was deprived of food, fed drug-laced water, had his bones broken and was tied to a tree with honey on his genitals.

His burnt remains were found months later in a forest near Tin Can Bay.

Defence barrister Andrew Hoare argued that Dean was not present when Mr Barker died and had apologised to him during the ordeal telling him "sorry mate".

He argued that the motivation for the assault was not revenge-driven and it was in all of the men's interest to keep Mr Barker alive.

Matthew and Stephen Armitage's defence barristers are yet to make their submissions to Justice David Jackson.

The men are expected to learn their fate tomorrow. -NewsRegional



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