This is the picture. Reid says that White shoots Ant at some time between 2000hrs and 2100hrs at his property after the girls have gone. He says he and Ritchie Samuels are there together observing the shooting and when Ant has finally been shot in the head and dragged back inside the property beside one of the trucks, White says to them "Youse two better f... off ...... " and Reid drives Samuels away in his car.
But at 2039hrs the young Tara phones from Susie Miller's home to see if it's OK for the young girls (told to leave by White at around 2000hrs) to come back. White, it seems, says OK. So you would imagine this rules out a shooting before 2039hrs. White would realise that young girls finding blood, tripping over a body etc is untidy and undesirable. He would NOT be welcoming them back at this time if he had just shot Ant. [Note: According to Reid the body is still there at 2120hrs].
And at 2042hrs and 2054hrs records show that Samuels calls White [probably mobile to mobile, but we may have to check]. Unless Samuels is a complete loon you would imagine he wouldn't phone White during the prolonged shooting as:
a) He, Samuels, is there during the shooting and a shout or a word in the ear would be enough; and
b) a phone call might put White off his aim, particularly if White answers both times. [It's a bit like an Irish joke].
Seriously, since Reid is definite that both he and Samuels witness the shooting and leave soon after, it's not reasonable that the shooting can happen after 2042hrs either, and since it must take a few minutes to drag the body inside and for Reid and Samuels to leave, it's reasonable to say the shooting cannot be after 2039hrs.
So the shooting cannot reasonably happen before 2039hrs and it can't happen after 2039hrs. Therefore it can't happen at all. QED. Surely it can't be this simple ?? Maybe it is.
There's nothing on this in the defence closing or in the judge's summing-up !!
As an additional point if White had shot Ant after 2039hrs, he would presumably have been very anxious either to cancel his welcome to the girls or to hide the body.
There's also the matter of White presumably not wanting to show his demeanor or for anyone to smell the cordite in the air. Also that Reid seems unaware of White calmly answering his phone at 2039hrs just after the shooting [something that would be memorable]. Possibly much more .
Gary White. Timeline ... an important point.
On the Sunday, Susie Miller says she makes 3 trips from her home to Gary White's home at 12 Jade St, Maddington.
1) On her own to get amphetamines from Gary White.
2) With Ant to join the young girls for a bit of a party.
3) With the young girls, Tara, Bo and Lisa.
There are two phone calls that day from Susie's home to White's mobile. 1) 1759 and 2) 2039.
There are two phone calls from White's mobile to Reid's mobile that day. 1) 1945 and 2) 2120
It seems that the witnesses have access to these phone records when reconstructing these calls many months down the track.
Susie says the 2039 call was Tara asking if she Bo and Lisa could return.
Susie says that her 1759 call to White was prior to her first visit to 12 Jade and the crown at first persuade White to agree that this is correct.
White says that his call to Reid at 1945 was to request more drugs for Susie.
The crown says that since White was away from his home at this time he could have no way of knowing at 1945 that Susie wanted more drugs. Therefore White must be lying about the reason for the call. Therefore Reid's version of the reason for the call must be correct. Reid's version is that White told him to get over to 12 Jade, lock the gates and let no-one in or out. The unsaid sinister implication is that Reid is to lock Ant in. But on the crown's own logic, White cannot know at 1945 even that Susie is at his home, let alone Ant. So Reid's version makes no sense at all.
It seems much more likely that Susie didn't phone the first time, but just went around on the off chance that White would be there, which he was, and he probably had drugs available.
So the 1759 call was probably just before the second visit (with Ant). This fits with Susie saying that the second visit was around dusk. Research shows that dusk on that day would have been about 1800.
This would make a 1945 call to Reid for drugs a bit late, but quite reasonable if he was busy or if Reid's mobile could not be reached earlier.
It seems that White fell victim to a prosecutor's trick.
Ant, Susie and Gary Mills at 1 Carita Court on the day she last saw Ant. She and Bo (but not Tara) shifted some odds and ends to their new rental home at 96 Weston St, Maddington. She makes no mention of being at 12 Jade St on that same day. No XXN at all.
Tara Ducker recalls Ant popping over to Susie Miller's house on the 'night' of 19 Aug 2001. She says she, Bo and Lisa soon left that night and headed for 96 Weston St. She makes no mention of being at 12 Jade St that day and says nothing about ever being told to leave 12 Jade. She says the move to the new home was effected very quickly .. .in a couple of days. Very brief XXN. No questions about being at Jade on 19 Aug. No questions about ever being ordered to leave 12 Jade.
The strong impression is that by the end of that weekend the three girls had moved enough furniture and bedding into 96 Weston to move in, or at least stay the night there on Sunday if they wanted to. The crucial matter of the girls being dramatically thrown out of 12 Jade by White on Sunday just isn't there. They don't even seem to be at 12 Jade on Sunday, and certainly not in the period just before the 'shooting'.
Meanwhile at 1945. (It seems just after Ant and Susie arrive at 12 Jade). Sid Reid says he receives a call at his home from Gary White telling him to go over to 12 Jade, lock the gates and let no-one in or out. Reid seems to obey this unusual order unquestioningly. He heads off to 12 Jade, and then realizes he hasn't got the key. Reid says he goes home to 50 Weston St Maddington for the key, having phoned his girlfriend Natasha to look for the key. He goes home, can't find the key and goes to 12 Jade anyway. Natasha tells it differently. She can't find the key, Sid comes back, is pretty angry, grabs a key from where they're kept, and storms out again. Reid says he drives through the open gates, parks near the containers and asks Rainbow to lock the gates.
We are left to assume that White has somehow heard that Ant is at his home and wants to make sure he doesn't escape. So how does he know Ant is there? Perhaps Susie has phoned from her home and asked if they can come over. But this wouldn't work if Ant and Susie get held up or decide to leave a bit later ... he could be locking Ant out, not in and they might just drive away.
The only other possibility is that Rainbow has phoned from 12 Jade and told White that Ant is there. If that were the case it would make more sense for White to ask Rainbow to lock the gates since he's already there.
White says the phone call was simply to ask Reid to bring over more amphetamines. This seems more likely, but lacks the sinister innuendo. Indeed it seems positively friendly to Ant. The most likely users of amphetamines would be Susie and Ant. There's not much point in asking Reid to bring amphetamines for these two if he plans to throw one out and kill the other. My guess is that Reid worked out the muddled key story with Natasha to lend more credibility to the much more sinister 'request' of locking the gates.
Reid says that inside the house he sees two gentlemen, Rainbow, Julie (White's girlfriend), Tara and two other young girls. He thinks one of them may have been Susie's daughter. Since Bo claims to be there almost every day, it's remarkable he doesn't know her name. He sees Susie there, and Ant, who he claims to be wearing shorts and a singlet. It's very unlikely that Ant is wearing shorts. People who know him say he never does, and besides it's August and damn cold.
10 or 15 minutes later. Reid says Gary White and Ritchie Samuels arrive at the house. They arrive as passengers in a white Commodore, which drops them off outside the gates and then leaves. Gary W unlocks the gates and locks them behind him. They walk into the house and Gary at once tells the girls to fuck off. The girls are cooking tea and seem agitated about the roast. He tells them "If you're worried about it, take the food with you, and fuck off." Reid says all the girls then jump into Susie's car ... Susie, Tara, Julie and the other two. Ah, interesting. Susie never mentions Julie even being there, let alone getting into her (Susie's) car. Where does Susie supposedly take Julie, I wonder? As above, not one of the three young girls mentions ever being ordered to leave 12 Jade, let alone just after cooking a roast. Surely it's something memorable? But neither counsel asks.
Reid says Rainbow unlocks the gates and they drive off.
Ant's lift has now gone and he must have noticed. It's odd not to ask Susie to take him in the car, too, if he detects any cause for alarm.
Reid doesn't actually say the gates are locked after the girls leave. It's a slightly odd omission considering that it becomes important later.
Reid says White gives no reason for wanting the girls to leave. His unsaid implication is that White has done this so as to have no female witnesses to his intended murder. But what if Ant had just handed over the $100 ? The whole massive operation of getting the women out (including Julie) would be unnecessary. Susie Miller says (or implies) that it's because she brought Ant along. She says he shouts at her with his face a foot away from hers and tells her to get into her car. This makes no sense since Ant has never been barred from the home, has often done jobs for White there, and has even been given a car by him at one stage. White gives a couple of reasons. He has just set up this house for the young girls to live in, and is irritated that they're sitting around drinking booze when they should be moving in. Some would say this is fair enough. He has presumably set up the house because nice as the girls are, he doesn't want them there all the time. The lounging around is also a sign of ingratitude for what he's done for them.
White also says he's annoyed that the girls have traipsed mud through the house. Not the chaps? Well, the young girls are the ones doing the cooking and the party and the fire seem to be outside .. so it could be just the girls traipsing mud. It could be another part of his irritation, and as such a fair reason. Sending Susie (and Julie ?) out seems a bit odd. Susie has the car, of course, and seems to be their only means of transport. Reid at no point says that White orders all females to leave.But that is the impression the crown would like to give. And he makes no description of Susie being asked to leave or of Julie (who Reid says was there) being asked to leave. How has Reid missed the dramatic incident of White shouting at Susie close to her face and being told to get into her car? So, it seems that according to Reid, the young girls were the first ones ordered to leave, and you would expect them to be asking Susie to give them a lift, but it doesn't seem to happen. According to Susie, she must be the first one told to leave and she meekly goes to sit in the car. The young girls then join her in the car and tell her "We have to go, and we have to go now." There's plenty wrong with this picture. No-one is asking about Ant, or how he's going to get home. No-one is saying that Ant is not allowed to leave. Susie is saying that the people to get in the car are Bo, Tara and Lisa. There is no mention of Julie at all.
White's third reason for telling the young girls to leave is that Ant wants a quiet word with him about a few things. It's possible this is true, but it's not a convincing reason for telling anyone to leave the house. And it's never good to have too many reasons. White hasn't helped himself with this reason at all. Even so, his reasons make more sense than Reid's or Susie's.
So the upshot is that Reid's story is implausible because
a) Only the young girls are ordered to leave, but Susie and Julie leave as well, with no reasons given by Reid.
b) Reid totally misses the incident of White shouting at Susie. His story is in conflict with hers.
c) Reid describes 'all the girls on the premises' jumping into the car  ... Susie, Tara, Julie and the other two. This implies that they get in at the same time, but Susie describes herself as going out to the car alone before the three young girls. No-one else says Julie is even there, and if she gets in the car, where does she go ?
d) Reid says that when White arrives, 'straight off the bat' he orders the girls to leave. This must mean the young girls in the context. There's no reason why they shouldn't walk the 1 km to Carita St. Reid gives no reason why Susie and Julie had to leave.
A few minutes later and between 2000 and 2100 (according to Reid [3231), Reid says that White comes out of the house and down the back yard towards Ant. White says to Ant "Where's me fucking money?" Ant sort of didn't have a reply and White says, "I'm going to make an example of you, c ... " He reaches into the back of his jeans, pulls out a handgun and at a range of 4 or 5 ft, with Ant facing him, he shoots Ant in the left shoulder. None of this seems likely. White has previously been quite a philanthropist towards Ant, Susie the girls and others. It seems unlikely he would make such a big deal over $100. It seems unlikely Ant would make no reply at all if White was so menacing. At the point where White pulls out a handgun, Ant (or anybody) would definitely be saying something and making promises to pay. And if White says he's going to make an example of Ant, ... an example to whom?
It's hardly something he can advertise.
Reid says Ant spun around. From the impact of a .38 bullet at very close range? Perhaps. I would have expected him to fall over, particularly someone of his frail build. The amazing thing is that Ant seems to utter no sound. No scream of pain, no cry for help, no plea for mercy.
Ant bolts behind the shed and Gary pursues him, continuing with his "Going to make an example of you, coo." speech, and three more shots are heard by Reid as the pair are out of sight. As they come into sight Reid sees Ant trying to climb the right hand gate (as viewed looking out to the road). Ant is doing exceptionally well by any standards. He has (presumably) four bullets in him and has just got to the top of the gate. His left arm must be useless for climbing and the pain must be intense. Still there seem to be no cries or screams.
White "reaches up and shoots Ant straight up through the arse." Ah, now this would be extreme pain, as I think we can all imagine. Still not a cry or whimper from Ant, and somehow he falls onto the other side of the gate. With strands of barbed wire to compete with, it seems more likely he would have fallen back inside the property, or become snagged on the wire, but this is a matter for experts.
Gary grabs his key, unlocks the gate and walks through. He stands over Ant and shoots him straight in the head. Well, maybe, but I rather doubt it. If this shooting incident is true, Gary White must be totally stupid, which he doesn't appear to be.
a) He has told Reid to lock the gates and let no-one in or out, indicating that he has a plan and may be up to no good. He has done this in a mobile phone call, where the words could get picked up by police.
b) He has ordered the young girls and possibly Susie and Julie to leave. If he does have a plan to kill, this order may make it look as if he wants no witnesses who may crack.
c) The murder happens only minutes after the females leave. So if the murder is placed at his home, he has no chance of saying he wasn't there.
d) A debt of $100 is a stupid reason to kill, particularly for a man of his means.
e) This is basically a botched murder. It shouldn't be possible to miss at 4 or 5 feet. Even in the unlikely event that he wants Ant to suffer, there are neater ways of doing this.
f) 6 shots are fired and a .38 is quite loud. 1 or 2 shots might be ignored by neighbours as backfires or other noises, but not 6. There would also be the risk of screams from Ant being heard at the same time as the shots. If police came to check they would find the body, blood, gunshot residue on his clothes. There would be no way out.
g) Even if all the females have left there are still too many witnesses.
According to Reid there are himself Reid, Ritchie Samuels, Rainbow, and the two men from the Eastern States, one of whom is a good friend, but one he doesn't know. Five witnesses who would see the killing or at the very least hear the shots nearby and be aware of any aftermath.
If it happened in this way Gary White would have to be unbelievably stupid.
Reid says White now tells him and Samuels "Youse two better fuck off. It's nothing to do with the club. Youse better get out of here." The two get in Reid's car and drive off. As they go they see that White has dragged the body in front of a truck out of sight of the road. Rainbow seems to live there, and he definitely stays. There is no indicationthat the two men from the ES are advised to depart or that they do depart.
Reid drops Ritchie Samuels off at the place he's staying ... at the home, in the Maddington area, of a lady called Lisa (presumably NOT the young Lisa Firman). Reid notices a car at the home which he says is the white Commodore that dropped off White and Samuels at the 12 Jade St earlier in the evening. Why does he notice this and what is its significance? Is Reid in the habit of noting car numbers? It seems he is trying to firm up his evidence that White and Samuels arrived together at 12 Jade. White says he arrived home in his own car and that Samuels wan't there.
At 2039. There is a phone call from Susie Miller's home to White's home at this time. Susie says she thinks this is Tara calling White to see if it's OK for the young girls to come back. The answer must be 'yes', because Susie says she drives the three young girls back to 12 Jade in her white Ford. Again there is no mention of Julie. There she thinks they sit in the lounge and probably drink more alcohol. Rainbow is still there and Susie goes into the bedroom with him, where they have sex. The next thing she remembers is driving home about 0500. She thinks the young girls are still there when she leaves. In the circs all this is incredible, and many questions should be asked in XXN, but all this is just glossed over.
a) It's ridiculous that the young girls are asking to come back. They were thrown out in a menacing drama. Susie was shouted at for bringing Ant and the girls were told to leave and to go now. Susie was in tears over what might happen to Ant, and at least one of the young girls must have noticed this. And now, perhaps half an hour to an hour later (maximum) they want to go back ?!! [Note that Reid says the shooting was between 2000 and 2100, and he has the advantage of refreshing his memory with phone-call times]. The young girls aren't short of places to sleep ... there's the new rental home which seems now to have beds in it and at a pinch there's Susie's home ... 1 Carita St.
b) It's even sillier that White says 'yes' to them, if he's just murdered Ant at his Jade St home. The body is still at the front of the truck (according to Reid, later). The blood by the front gate and the rest of the crime scene can barely have been cleaned up. White's demeanour would be detectable unless he's a brilliant actor. And if the shots are reported to police he'll have a house full of drunken females ready to tell them about the lead-up to the shots.
c) At 12 Jade you would expect Susie to look for Ant and to enquire from White about his welfare and where he is. She would expect White to be there ... it's only a couple of minutes drive (I km). She never mentions White or Ant at this third visit. It all seems like a cheerful continuation of the party except that no-one, apart from Rainbow, seems to be there. But no-one asks Susie who is there at this point. She isn't asked if Reid and Samuels are still there or the men from the ES. She isn't even asked if she asks Rainbow "Where's Ant ?" Her 'concern' for Ant seems to have disappeared. She says she doesn't remember White coming into the bedroom where she was with Rainbow, but 'he could have.'
All of this "return to Jade" evidence is very strong evidence that Gary White did NOT shoot Ant Tapley at 12 Jade as described by Reid.
At 2042 and 2054. Phone records show that at 2042 and 2054 [p630] Ritchie Samuels calls Gary White. [This is probably mobile to mobile, but it's not clear]. The shooting, according to Reid happens between 2000 and 2100. There was also a call to White's mobile at 2039 from Susie (above). It seems unlikely that White would be shooting Ant while on the phone, or even that he would answer the phone while unlocking the gate or dragging the body back. Or even for quite some minutes after the shooting. He would need some time to regain his composure. Certainly Reid never mentions that White answers a phone call during or soon after the shooting. Logically this puts the latest possible time for the shooting at about 2030, and if so (as stated earlier) it's quite odd that he invites the girls back in the 2039 phone call from Tara, despite the fact they may see or trip over a body.
The other thing is this. Reid is definite that Samuels was at 12 Jade St at the time of the shooting and arrived with White. White is equally definite that Samuels is not there that evening. He obviously isn't there at 2042 if he's calling White on the phone. There may be a significance to this argument about whether Samuels is there at all or not, or it may be unimportant.
What does matter is the calls to White's phone and the fact that White is happy to answer the phone despite being about to commit a murder or being in the middle of one or the aftermath of tidying up.
What also matters is that crown, defence and judge seem unaware of the importance of these calls and that at the very least this brings the possible time of the murder from 2000 to 2030 rather than 2000 to 2100. It seems like negligence all round.
At 2120. Reid receives a call from White. Reid says this call is White asking him to go back to 12 Jade and give him a refund for a gun that Reid wasn't able to obtain. And Reid is prepared to go back NOW?
Reid says in his first statement (24 March 2002)  "I think Tash drove me over to Gary's place because I didn't have a driver's licence and I thought there would be coppers all over the place. I thought someone would have reported hearing the gunshots. If he thinks someone will have reported the gunshots, the lack of driver's licence is the least of his worries .
.... "We had stopped on the roadside out the front of his property near to the gates. I returned his money for the gun and told him that the deal had fallen through ....... I saw that Ant was in the same place as when we left. Tash didn't see the body as you had to know where to look and so she knew nothing about what had occurred. Tash and I headed home. We had only been there 30 seconds or so .... "
Reid is saying that he can see the body [in front of the truck] where it was left and this must be some time after 2120 ... obviously AFTER Susie, Tara, Bo and Lisa returned to 12 Jade following Tara's 2039 phone call to White. So White, according to the combination of the Susie and Reid evidence, actually invites Susie and the young girls back onto the property at a time when Ant's body is still lying in front of the truck where it can be stumbled across or seen by an alert observer. Not believable.
The above is stronger evidence still that White did not kill Tapley and that Reid's story is a pack of lies.
White says that he arrives home alone in his white LTD Ford, not in the white Commodore with Samuels, dropped off by someone else, as Reid claims. ****If Reid invents the Commodore drop off with Samuels, I'm not yet sure why.
White denies that the 2120 phone call to Reid was to ask for a refund on a failed gun deal. He explains the 2120 call to Reid in this way: ""Sid Reid left and said to me 'If you haven't heard from me in 15 minutes can you give me a ring and make out - I'll make out that you're a member and that I'm wanted at the clubhouse because I want to get out - I need an excuse to get out'." Because White doesn't appear to point the blame at Reid in his other evidence or to invent anything else outrageous, this piece of evidence is worth looking at closely. It seems unlikely that Sid Reid is so henpecked that he needs an excuse or 'alibi' to get away from his girlfriend. He's a bikie for heaven's sake, and a drug dealer. Getting out at odd hours is normal. He wouldn't need an excuse for Natasha.
Still less is it likely that Gary White would assume he was henpecked and make up such a story. For that reason, it's very likely the true reason, and Sid's story about the refund on the failed gun deal is probably not true. The refund story doesn't ring true anyway. (As above) It would be stupid for Reid to return to 12 Jade if a shooting has just taken place there.
So, if Reid did ask White to make the alibi call, why did he do so ? It's possible he needed an excuse to get away from a group of drug dealers or other crims. It's possible he needed a call that would show up on his phone records as a call from White as part of an alibi for a crime he was planning for later that evening.
Natasha Moutinho [Reid's live-in girlfriend since Feb 2001] firms up Reid's story that he headed for Jade St at around 1945 and then called her from his car to find the key for the gates, but in her version Reid comes back gets a key from where they are kept and drives off again. In Reid's version he comes back, can't find the key, but drives to 12 Jade anyway. The minor variation could be deliberate. Even with this variation Natasha's version lends credibility to Reid's version that White asked him to go to the property and let no-one in or out, compared to White's version that he called Reid asking for more drugs. If Natasha simply couldn't recall, it would be just Reid's version against White's.
But strangely, Natasha contradicts Reid's story that she drove him back to 12 Jade later [in response to White's 2120 call to Reid, which he says was to deliver the gun refund]. She says she did NOT take him back that evening.
After Reid returned to their home at 50 Weston St at about 1930 for the key, Natasha is firm that she did NOT see him again until probably the Monday afternoon.
So, either Reid is lying about the return to 12 Jade with Natasha driving, or Natasha is. Natasha has no motive to lie independently ... she can't get into much trouble for acting as driver on a 'refund trip' even if she knows the purpose of the trip, which is unlikely. Logically, she would only lie if Sid Reid had asked her to. Apparently they are still close to this day ... she is in the witness protection programme, and part of the 'deal' is that she is flown to see him three times a year at taxpayers' expense.
Why would Reid say he returns to the scene of the murder, and sees the body still lying there if he doesn't? My guess is that soon after he decides to grass he is asked to account for all calls from White to his mobile. He doesn't want the first call that evening to be a request for drugs [as White claims], he wants it to be more sinister ... a request to go to Jade St, lock the gates and let no-one in or out.
He can't really make the second call (at 1920) a request for drugs because he has said that Susie and the young girls have left 12 Jade (which is probably true) and Ant is dead (which probably isn't true at this time). The Bikie code forbids drug use amongst its members. So, in theory there's noone still there who would want drugs, and this story would look a bit lame.
He could say the call was about anything eg "Lovely weather" or "Do you happen to know a good lawyer ?", but Reid wants something he can back with subsequent action. So he pretends [in his very first statement ... 24 March 2002] that Natasha drives him back for the 'gun refund'. He knows that 'Tasha' will say anything he wants her to. And his seeing the body still lying there adds colour to his story.
But when Reid invents this story he almost certainly doesn't know that Susie Miller will say that she and the young girls return to 12 Jade soon after Tara's 2039 phone call to White and that in that call White agrees to let them return. Since Reid claims that the shooting happens between 2000 and 2100, Reid has 'over-cooked' it. He is saying that the Susie and the girls are invited back just before the murder or just after it and while Ant's body is still lying on the ground near the gates!!
My guess is that the crown or the cops realise the preposterous unlikelihood of this and are afraid that the defence will spot the huge flaw in Reid's story. [They needn't have worried I]. Natasha is then asked by someone (possibly Reid) to deny Reid's earlier version, and to say that she never took Reid back to 12 Jade. This will cast doubt on this part of Reid's earlier version, and at a pinch he can be recalled to say he imagined this part or got confused. As things turn out at the trial, he doesn't need to say this, and the glaring anomaly goes un-noticed. Reid gives evidence first (7 May 2003), and then Natasha gives hers a day later (8 May). Reid is not recalled.
White in XN  says he has a beer with Ant Tapley and a chat after the females have gone. Ant wants more amphetamines and White tells him that Reid will pick him up shortly to take him North of the river for a drug deal. He gives him a couple of cans of Jim Beam and a stubby of beer in a plastic bag. He tells Ant to wait on the other side of the road and locks the gates for the night.
Cannon asks "Were you there when Sid came back?" ... "No, I weren't. I weren't out the front. I was still at Jade St. I weren't out the front of the house." White denies any gun deal with Reid and denies that Reid came back that evening to get a refund from him. He also says that Natasha doesn't come over.
It seems White can't actually be sure if Reid comes back. The question assumes Reid does come back. White probably assumes Reid does come back because he has said he will come back to pick up Ant, and Ant has not climbed through the gate and re-appeared. None of this is gone over properly. If White is telling the truth Reid is probably the last person to see Ant alive. It's an important point, and it should be given close attention, but it isn't.
In XXN  Bates suggests that Reid comes back for the gun refund and again White denies this. Bates doesn't mention Natasha on the refund trip in his XXN. This, perhaps, is as expected. Cannon hasn't mentioned the conflict of evidence between Reid and Natasha ... and so Bates decides to keep quiet about it. The conflict is that Reid says Natasha drove him back for the gun refund, but Natasha denies this.
The 'gun refund' has become a distraction, and the much more important question of whether Reid comes back to pick up Ant from the roadside for a drug deal is ignored. It's very possible that Reid invented the idea of Natasha being at the wheel to discredit any idea that he might be picking up Ant. A day later (with another witness in between) Natasha's evidence that she's not driving the car gets forgotten.
It's worth noting again that Reid's position that he returns after 1920, and sees Ant's body still there is hugely helpful to White. This means that it's still there when Susie and the girls return to 12 Jade soon after 2039, and it means that despite this, White invites them back, which is ridiculous.
If White wanted to be "clever" he could simply agree that the gun refund could have happened, but he had no clear recall. A good lawyer could then destroy Reid on his bogus evidence. White seems to be telling things as they are, and trusting the WA judicial system.
The phone calls from Susie's home to Gary White.
There were two phone calls from Susie Miller's ~home to Gary White's mobile, one at 1759 and one at 2039 (Tara's request to White for the girls to come back to 12 Jade). Susie Miller says that...
a) Her first call was to get some amphetamines. She went to 12 Jade on her own, joined the young girls there, waited for Gary to arrive with the drugs, and he arrived with them soon after.
b) Her second visit was with Ant at around dusk, unannounced.
c) Her third visit (with the young girls) was soon after Tara's 2039 call to Gary White asking if it was OK for the young girls to come back.
Records also show that there is a phone call from White's mobile to Reid's mobile at 1945.
White says the reason for the call is to request more amphetamine for Susie.
Reid says the call is a request from White that he goes round, locks the gates, and allows no-one to enter or leave the property.
The argument from Bates, for the crown, is this [p43 closing speeches]:
White says that it's the 1759 call he responds to and this is why he requests drugs from Reid in his 1945 call to Reid. On the second visit with Ant, Susie says that there is no phone call. .. they just decide to drive over there. [Note that White is away from 12 Jade when they arrive]. Bates argument is effectively that since White can't know that, at this point, that Susie is in need of more amphetamines, he has no reason to call Reid to ask for more drugs. Therefore White is lying about the purpose of the call and therefore Reid is telling the truth. QED.
But Reid's claim is that White phones him asking him to go over to 12 Jade, lock up the gates and let no-one in or out ... a much more sinister claim. On the other hand, the same argument applies to benefit White. If White, who is away from the property phones Reid to ask him to lock the gates and let no-one in or out, what on earth can be his purpose in doing so ? He can have no way of knowing that Susie and Ant are now at his home. It would be quite silly to lock in Tara, Bo or Lisa (who mayor may not be there), Rainbow (who lives there, and has a key) or the two ES guests. Reid's claim is thus equally weak despite "back-up" from Natasha. But Bates doesn't point this out, and because he speaks last Cannon gets no chance to point this out. The judge seems to avoid the argument altogether [p680], mentioning only Reid's given reason for the call.
Clearly Bates is operating on false logic and is relying on claims of what happened some 19 months previously, with witnesses using phone records as memory joggers. Bates seems to have used a trick which has gone unnoticed by defence and judge.
Even if we assume the Telstra records are perfect (which they aren't always) there are other solutions.
For example, here is one possible scenario. The first time Susie goes to 12 Jade, she doesn't call, and White happens to be there or comes in soon after. He happens to have amphetamines available and Susie takes them home. The second time Susie goes to 12 Jade (with Ant) she phones in advance to request more drugs ... this is the 1759 call. Susie says she and Ant arrive about dusk, which would fit in perfectly with this theory. (Dusk would have been about 1800 on that day). [Note that there seems to be nothing in the transcript to show that anyone checked at trial to see what time dusk would have been]. White is too busy to phone Reid immediately, but has told Susie to wait at the house. Soon after that Reid arrives at 12 Jade with the amphetamines. A few minutes later, White arrives at his home (with or without Samuels).
One extra thing that makes Reid's story about the phone call seem weak is that having got to 12 Jade he fails to act on his instructions not to let anyone in or out. He certainly doesn't claim to give any orders to that effect like "No-one leaves the property." He says he sees Julie, Tara, the two other young girls and the two men from the ES inside the house. "I just said a general hello when I walked in there." He sees Susie and Ant outside. "I just said g'day when I walked out the back, but that was it."[p278,279]. Reid says he is there only 10 or 15 minutes before White arrives.
Having checked who is in the house, you would imagine Reid would talk to Rainbow and tell him the instructions from White. The next step would be to enlist Rainbow's assistance or at least to borrow his key so as to be in control of the situation. Reid does none of these things and when White arrives he seems to be just observing him from the house. He doesn't unlock the gates for White, watching carefully for anyone who might rush in or out. White simply lets himself in. Reid must know that the chain on the gates is quite long and that it's possible to climb a bit and squeeze through the gates. If he bothers to hurry over to 12 Jade why doesn't he do a proper job of guarding the gates? It seems probable he was never asked to make sure that no-one came in or out and that his story is a lie. [Regrettably Reid is never asked about all this in court].
The 'blood' on the gates.
Gavin Turbett (PathCentre) says [p540] that on 3 April 2002 he and Alexander Bagdonavicius go to police HQ to examine the gates. They take DNA samples and presumably nothing of interest is found [but this needs to be checked]. On 10 May 2002 Turbett re-attends police HQ and this time finds a stain. Remarkable that it doesn't get found the first time. The stain tests positive for blood at PathCentre, but presumably this is only on the Kastle-Meyer test, which can give a positive for animal blood, rust, copper compounds, and various vegetable substances. Swabs from the stain are sent to Bob Goetz in NSW, and although his full Report has not yet been sighted, it seems there are indications that this shows the blood may be animal blood. The DNA shows only 3 reportable alleles out of a possible 10. One of these simply shows from the chromosomes that the person must be male. The chances of a person having these 3 alleles in their DNA seem to be 60 to one against. But Turbett's Report puts this across in the more biased (and I suggest incorrect) way that 'the probability of finding this partial DNA profile if the stain recovered from the left gate had come from someone other than and unrelated to Tapley is approximately one in 60 based on WA population data.
Turbett says Tapley cannot be excluded. I wonder about this. Turbett admits that when alleles are put down as NR (non-reportable) it doesn't mean that nothing showed up on the genescan for those alleles.
It means that if something showed up it was below the acceptable threshold. I wonder then, if several other alleles showed up in NR amounts on the genescan graph, it could potentially eliminate Tapley.
I can understand that for a positive identificationof one person high standards of reportable DNA are needed. I suspect that far lesser amounts on each allele might be needed for an expert to eliminatea particular person. [Clearly we need to see the genescan graphs and to show them to an expert].
Since Tapley had been a frequent user of the gates, there also exists the strong possibility that there is animal blood in the stain with sweat or saliva from Tapley in the same location.
A small piece of material was found on the barbed wire on top of the same gate as the stain. The threads are white on top, but blue-black underneath [p544]. The material was not found to match anything and it could not be estimated how long it had been there. It may be fair to say this evidence was quite useless. Other people were in the habit of climbing the gates.
The fabric fibres could have come from the clothing of any of a large number of people.
The shorts.Reid describes Ant as wearing shorts when he gets shot. No other witness says they have ever seen Ant wearing shorts. It's the winter month of August, which makes this even more unlikely. Unfortunately all the witnesses who see him that night don't get asked.
The uncalled witnesses. Reid says that Ritchie Samuels, 'Rainbow' (Dennis Jardin), a male friend of White's from the Eastern States, and another man from the ES were there at 12 Jade St when the shooting occurred. So four men who must in theory have been in a position to see or hear the shooting if it happened, failed to give evidence either way. The two men from the Eastern States don't even get named. This is highly unsatisfactory and quite ridiculous. The bikie 'code of silence' is seemingly pandered to. If justice was to be seen to be done all these men should have been subpoenaed, in my opinion. If they continued to be silent they could surely at least be charged with contempt of court? And the jury could make their own judgement on whether their silence was to support Reid or White.
Julie Sparks, White's girlfriend, wasn't called by the crown. She was pregnant and White didn't want to have her called.
The remainder of Sunday night.There is very little evidence of what happens at 12 Jade St after the supposed shooting takes place, although Gary White, Susie, Tara, Bo, Lisa, Rainbow, and the two men from the ES are seemingly still there. It's only a 3 bedroom home and the question of who sleeps where is of interest. Gary White presumably has his own room. Susie hops into bed with Rainbow in his room. This leaves the 3 young girls and the two ES men all to share one room. It's possible the young girls go off to their new home, but if they do oo .why the hell did they bother coming back to Jade St ? If they sleep in the lounge they would probably notice early risings and early departure of trucks etc (or lack thereof). If Gary White really has got a body on the property you would imagine he would clear out all the females including Susie to avoid any accidental discovery and to avoid them hearing the early departure of vehicles. He would have to leave at at least 0545 if he was to get to Northam by 0800 to be spotted by Wayne Morgan at that time [if indeed that was the correct day].
Susie says she leaves Rainbow at 0500. Why up so early after all those drinks and drugs?? She's already been caught by Gary White. Is she really keen to get home early so that Gary Mills doesn't think she's been having sex with anyone? Does she see or hear any of the young girls lying about in the lounge room? At what time does Gary walk into Rainbow's room and find her in bed with Rainbow? Having been found, does Gary let her stay anyway? Who unlocks the gates for her? Having angered White by being in bed with Rainbow, does she decide to irritate him further by waking him at 0500 as her car starts up ? Has her car been inside the yard all night and is that the reason White searches the house for her?
Sid Reid's movements that evening are of great interest too. Natasha says she thinks that after her sighting of him at about 1945 on Sunday she didn't see him until the Monday afternoon. He should be asked to account for what he did that night, but it doesn't seem to happen. Since he's so accurate about the date Ant disappeared .... without access to police files .... he should be regarded as a suspect too. One possibility could be that Reid, himself, bears some responsibility for Ant's disappearance. The crown should be trying to eliminate him as a suspect and the defence should be doing much more to indicate that the guilty party could well be Reid.
Monday 20 Aug 2001 after 0500.
White says the reason for his early night is that he has to get up early next morning, but he doesn't say what for. This doesn't seem unreasonable. It is 19 months ago and even at the time of his first statement it would have been 6 or 7 months ago. I believe police denied him access to his business documents, which seems unfair and silly. These would probably ~have given an indication. His morning phone calls out and in might have helped too [in and out], but I'm not sure if these were made available.
a) The first thing is that any normal person who has just killed someone with 6 shots from a .38 at his own home would do is to dispose of the body. At any moment someone might decide to report the shots and the cops could come around with dogs and a search party. This is not a time to turn in for a few hours and sort it all out after breakfast. You probably wouldn't sleep anyway. Early in the morning the whole industrial area in the adjacent buildings will start to come alive with potential witnesses. A guilty person would want to grab every moment of remaining darkness. If disposing of a body at Northam he would want to arrive there well before dawn [which would have been approx 0600]. Even to get there half an hour before dawn he would have to leave home at 0315 [it's reckoned as a two and a quarter hour trip]. Rather than take any chances it would make much more sense to get the females out [again ?!] and leave with the body right away. The facts that the young girls are invited back at all and that Susie is still there even at 0500 suggests this is very much a ho-hum evening.
b) Even if Gary White and two others do get to the Northam farm by 0530, get a good fire blazing and get the body on the fire by 0545, it would be extremely unlikely that by 0800 the body and skeleton would have been reduced to the embers that Wayne Morgan sees.
I'm no expert, but I think it much more likely that all or most of a human skeleton would still be clearly visible. If a two hour bonfire was all it took to get rid of a body, murderers would probably use this trick all the time ... particularly in the Australian bush. The very presence of 3000 to 4000 sheeps' bones at the site suggests that while a bonfire may get rid of all or some of the flesh, it will not dissolve the bones.
In his first statement Wayne Morgan says that he sees Gary White at the Northam farm with two other men at about 0800 on a day in late July/ early August . A few days before the trial, Bates the prosecuting counsel, actually goes to Northam to talk to Morgan. Miraculously the 'day' in July/Aug suddenly becomes a 'Monday' in August after Morgan's birthday on 15 Aug. But Morgan still can't be sure. 19 months later it's very strange that Morgan would come up with anything like this. If the day can be made to look like Mon 20 Aug, it looks (at least at first glance) very bad for White. On the other hand if it's another day .. particularly a day before 20 Aug, the Morgan evidence is totally harmless and could even work in White's favour. If it's an earlier day, it's an innocent burning of rubbish. And, having been spotted burning an innocent bonfire, White is hardly likely to take the risk a few weeks later of burning a body on a bonfire in the same spot. Since the evidenceissocrucial and the exact date so important you might expect that the cops and the court would spend some time determining the fine detail.
a) Who was there on bonfire day? Morgan knows White and it seems he must have been there. Morgan says one man was introduced to him as Les, and Morgan identifies Hoddy from the photoboard. So it makes sense that Les Hodding was there. Sure Les Hoddy won't talk (code of silence) but that doesn't mean his movements and phone calls can't be checked. Do the 'towers' show he was elsewhere than Northam on that Monday or did anyone see him elsewhere? I doubt if this has been looked at, but we shall see. If Morgan saw Hoddy and Hoddy was in Perth, say, on Mon 20 Aug, then the 'day of the bonfire' cannot be 20 Aug. Morgan at first identifies Reid from the picture in the "West Australian" but fails to identify him from the photoboard. [Was Morgan deliberately shown a poor quality photo of Reid ?] If it can be shown that Reid is part of the trio seen by Morgan, this helps White enormously. Reid's mobile phone calls (and the towers) show him to be in Perth on that Monday. If he is part of the trio the trio cannot(on the crown's own logic) be seen at Northam by Morgan on 20 Aug ... it must have been another day. [Also if Reid was there and seen by Morgan on any day at all, it makes Reid a liar, because he says he has never been to the Northam farm]. Was Rainbow there? The crown seem to imply that he was, but with no evidence. If so, and if the date is 20 Aug, it means that if they did make a very early start [as they would have needed to, if burning a body], Susie (who left at 0500) would have left Jade St well after Rainbow. She would have had a problem getting herself and her car out through the locked gates. It makes no sense that she would stay after Rainbow's departure.
b) Is there anything to pinpoint the day Morgan sees the trio? There is the fact that Morgan says the trio were trying to get the low loader to start. It seems the fuel system had to be bled and it wasn't a simple operation. White says that Reid was there because he was a mechanic. In the end Morgan says they didn't seem to get it started and he thinks (based on what, is not clear) that they ended up getting a mechanic from Northam. If the mechanic can be tracked down and has paperwork, this could solve it. White has apparently since said that the low loader was supposed to be sent to Melbourne by truck. The truck broke down, and the low loader was brought back to Northam. [Northam is en route to Melbourne and much closer than Maddington]. If the papers from the trucking company can be found. This could be helpful in working out the date. Regrettably the police have all White's business documents and apparently will not release any.
The bones. Some three and a half thousand to four thousand bone fragments were found at the site of the bonfire. [Did no-one actually count them ?] Without the diagrams it's not clear whether this means that they were found exactly in the small area of the bonfire or nearby. 19 bone fragments were found to be 'highly consistent with human bones'. The admission was made by the scientists that the bones [if human] could be from more than one person. "Highly consistent" doesn't seem enough really. No-one, it seems, is prepared to stake his reputation on the fact that the bones are human ... yet a court is prepared to convict a man of murder based very largely on this fairly useless information. The crown theory, based on zero evidence, seems to be that at some stage White returned to the site and removed as many bones as he could .... hence only 19 bone fragments. Why were they so broken up, then? Did White break them up, or did the heat? If White broke them up, you would imagine he would shift them first, and then break them up. If the heat broke them up (which seems unlikely) you would imagine White would shift all bones in the area, whether human or sheep, and there would be hardly any left behind, rather than up to 4,000. Unless, of course, White thought he was better than the best pathologists at judging the difference between human bone fragments and sheep bone fragments!!
No alleles of human DNA were found in any of the 19 bones. If they were sheep bones, this is exactly as you might expect. Is it possible to test bones for sheep or animal DNA? I don't know. Was this done? I don't know. Since it has been possible to find the DNA of the Pharaohs, it seems odd that DNA could not be found from any part of these bones, if they were indeed human. All the test results on the bones need to be looked at closely. If it's thought possible that the bones, if human, may be from more than one person, it would be interesting to look at the reasons for this.
The fish necklace. David Tapley makes reference to half of a fish necklace which seems to have been found at the Northam site, partially burnt.
David Tapley says nothing in XN about the necklace, but in XXN he tells Cannon "I had accepted the fact, yes, because some of the evidence in my mind came up that it was Anthony that they found the remains of. Then ... "Did you go to the site ?"oo."I haven't been to the site. I've seen -looks like a fish, right - a fish necklace, half a necklace. It was chopped in half. That's the only reason I can't be sure it was Anthony's, and it had been burnt. Anthony had been burnt and so I take that - and no way is that going to be there without Anthony."
"Is this in your statement at all to the police ?" ... "1 stated that the - the necklace, because I'd stated that - the necklace because they asked me could I identify it and I said, "Not 100 per cent," I said, "But very -I'm very sure it was." It can't be 100 per cent because there's only half the fish there."
"I don't see it in your statement and this is the first time today that I have heard about this ?" oo."I've told it."
"No further questions"
This is the strangest way for a vital piece of evidence to be presented, and it seems to be in breach of all normal procedure. It's very odd that the crown don't bring up the matter to David Tapley. It's odd that the exhibit doesn't seem to have a number or to be presented to David Tapley with a full history of exactly where it was found. It's odd that it isn't presented to other witnesses for identification. I now understand that Ant only acquired his necklace after the last time he saw his father ... so David T could not have recognized it.
The necklace is still a slight worry, but I think the way to look at it is that Bates cannot be stupid or have failed to see the importance of the necklace. If even two or three of Ant's friends and acquaintances had recognized the fish necklace as Ant's in earlier interviews, he would have shown the exhibit to them in court and asked the question. The fact that he doesn't do this suggests that he knows that no-one recognizes this necklace as Ant's.
David Tapley may have come up with this on his own ... or it's just possible he was put up to it by someone. It's interesting that Bates doesn't use the necklace in his closing speech, but the judge talks about it in his summing-up.
I believe it would have had a huge effect on the jury and would have made them think that White was at least involved in disposing of the body.
Half of this was burnt away, but Ant's father, David, was sure it was the same. I had considered this a clincher. But Massey tells me Alternatively, I guess, if Reid did know the farm and had something to do with the murder, he could have planted it at the site of the fire at a later date. It's noteworthy that Bates, for the crown, never used the necklace in his closing speech, although it seemed a terrific opportunity. Why? Was he concerned about an appeal?