William Barker outside Maroochydore Watch House in 2009.
William Barker outside Maroochydore Watch House in 2009.

Speed king faces court

A SPEED king who buried almost $1 million worth of cash, sealed in cryovacked bags wrapped up with duct tape, all over his Mooloolah Valley property has a hefty jail sentence looming.

Police found $485,000 inside five shopping bags in a large plastic drum buried on William Fredericis Barker's large hinterland acreage.

Two bags of cash totalling $273,880 were concealed inside the wall cladding of a shed being lived in while the main house was built.

About $200,000 was buried in 17 cryovacked bags beneath shipping containers, which police had to lift with cranes to access.

Officers found $30,550 in a denim shorts pockets and more cash in a lounge chair.

Crown prosecutor Sarah Farnden told the Brisbane Supreme Court how $995,250.50 in total had been "bundled up" around property and noted cash was being used to pay for the main house being built on the property.

She said officers also found two containers of iodine and glassware used in drug production.

Police intercepted phone calls between Barker, 50, and his four key customers in October, 2008, and continued until they were all arrested on April 22, 2009.

Ms Farnden said Barker had $1.776 million in unexplained income during that time and had 38 "identifiable" transactions to four customers.

She said a $100,000 cheque suggested there were many more transactions than the phone intercepts were able to identify.

Ms Farnden said the Crown could only conclusively identify Barker had exchanged 57 ounces of drugs for $171,000.

"He was identified as the head of a drug distribution syndicate in Queensland," she said.

"(Barker) established a close-knit syndicate of some long-term acquaintances of his and his drug-dealing activities were limited to the supply of drugs to these associates.

"Each of his associates was a high-level drug trafficker themselves, who had their own client base."

Barker has pleaded guilty to drug trafficking, possessing a drug precursor and glassware for production and having cash obtained illegally through his crimes.

But he is facing a contested sentence because he disputes the period of time the Crown alleges he was trafficking.

While no jail sentences were discussed in the first part of the hearing, which will continue today, his customers received jail sentences ranging from five years to 11 years.


A SERIAL armed robber linked to the Russell St police headquarters bombing in Melbourne - one of the most infamous episodes in Australian criminal history - has admitted he has at least twice testified against his fellow criminals to get reduced jail sentences.  

Paul Hetzel, who claimed he was good mates with Mark "Chopper" Read, detailed in the Brisbane Supreme Court on Monday how he would regularly drive from the Warwick area to meet Sunshine Coast drug trafficker William Barker to exchange drugs and cash.  

Under cross-examination from defence barrister Tony Kimmins, Hetzel conceded he rolled on Barker just like he had on the architects of the bombing which killed one young female constable and injured about 20 other people.

"Because you understood and knew that you were in a whole lot of strife?" he asked.

Mr Hetzel agreed.

But he refused to accept references from Chopper's books that he was a member of the notorious Overcoat Gang which had deemed him too "treacherous" to keep him as a member.

Hetzel also refused to accept he became an accustomed liar in prison, only that he learned to stand up for himself.

He said he could not remember being diagnosed as being egocentric and having a psychopathic personality when he was serving an 11-year sentence for armed robbery and attempting to murder a police officer.

That jail sentence was before the bombing which earned him another eight years, halved from the 16 years he would have got without helping police.

Hetzel, who appeared on ABC's Australian Story last night over his missing step-daughter Prue Bird, got another three years when he was caught with drugs at Bagara, near Bundaberg, and five years for his drug business with Barker.

Referring to diaries where he made notes of his moves from 2007 to 2009, his evidence suggested Barker was trafficking for a lot longer than he was prepared to plead guilty to.

Hetzel said all his diary entries indicated times he met up with "Bill" over drugs, testifying he mostly bought speed but twice he bought $2000 worth of ecstasy pills.

He said his diary entries matched his memory of the meetings and added further exchanges, that were not diarised, to his testimony.

But, under questioning from Mr Kimmins about how his client had been overseas on at least one of the meeting dates, Hetzel was forced to admit he was wrong.

Immediately defensive and asking if he needed to spell it out, Hetzel said he must have met with one of "his agents" instead, specifically mentioning meetings with Barker's son.

Mr Kimmins suggested Hetzel was now "slipping and sliding" to avoid the fact his memory had not served him correctly.

Hetzel said the lawyer would be "generalising" if he implied that error meant his memory was wrong on every occasion.  


Want a meat pie? = Let's meet at Beefy's at Ettamogah Pub

Meet for a cuppa? = Let's meet for at Mad Hatter Teahouse in Landsborough

I like the horse in barrier 4 = I want four ounces of speed  

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