Bushwalkers recall discovering body in cemented barrel

INNOCENT curiosity got the worst of bushwalkers who went in search of a day out along the Caboolture River only to discover a body in a cemented barrel.

The bushwalkers were exploring the river banks in February, 2011, when they spotted a large tree on its side.

Pushed up against the tree roots was a rusting 44-gallon drum, surrounded by a strong smell.

Intrigued, the bushwalkers had a look inside and spotted teeth and an open human mouth.

The chilling details were recounted on Tuesday in the Supreme Court, where Anthony Charles Oliver is on trial for murder.

Oliver, 38, pleaded not guilty to murdering friend, Norman Desmond Cheney, 41, in December, 2010.

Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller told the jury Mr Cheney died after being shot in the head and having his throat cut.

Oliver is accused of shoving Mr Cheney's body in a barrel, pouring cement over it and dumping the 255 kilogram drum in the Caboolture River.

The court heard it was not disputed Oliver killed Mr Cheney but self-defence would be a key issue.

Mr Fuller said Oliver began a relationship with his good friend Mr Cheney's wife, Trishelle, just prior to and after they split up in late 2010.

Mr Cheney and Trishelle had been living in Caloundra before the split, when Mr Cheney moved to Sandgate.

Mr Fuller said Oliver, from Caboolture, was the last person to see Mr Cheney alive.

Oliver allegedly told police he went for a drive with Mr Cheney on December 21, 2010, before dropping him home.

When his family did not hear from Mr Cheney at Christmas, he was reported missing.

Mr Fuller told the jury it would hear from one of Oliver's friends, who would recall Oliver admitting he killed Mr Cheney because "he was sick of him" and he cost him money.

The Crown alleges Oliver killed Mr Cheney and then drove to his sister's property 15 minutes outside of Esk.

When he arrived he told his sister he had been in a fight and Mr Cheney threatened him with a knife, Mr Fuller said.

Oliver allegedly asked his sister, Jenny and her partner, Peter Harris, to help him with Cheney's body.

Mr Fuller said Mr Harris allegedly drover with Oliver to buy a 44-gallon drum and 20 bags of cement.

Mr Fuller said Jenny told the police she drove with her partner and brother in a ute carrying the barrel but had no idea what was in it.

She allegedly told police she was let off at the road side, as Mr Harris and Oliver drove off and returned without the barrel.

Ms Oliver allegedly helped her brother burn a car used to transport Mr Cheney's body.

Oliver's barrister, Michael Byrne QC, said self-defence was a key issue in his client's case.

He said Mr Cheney, who used the drug ice, had a history of becoming "incredibly violent in a short period of time".

The trial continues.

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