The man accused of killing two people stuffed inside a toolbox said five minutes for the container to sink, as the victims screamed for their lives.
The man accused of killing two people stuffed inside a toolbox said five minutes for the container to sink, as the victims screamed for their lives.

Pair screamed for lives as toolbox took five minutes to sink

IT TOOK five minutes for a toolbox with two people trapped inside screaming for their lives to sink into a Logan waterway, a man accused of the double murder of Cory Breton and Iuliana Triscaru told police.

The drug dealers were horrifically slain after being beaten and cut by knives and stuffed into a toolbox that was thrown into Scrubby Creek at Kingston on January 24, 2016.

Tuhirangi-Thomas Tahiata, 28, is on trial in the Brisbane Supreme Court over the killings.

He is alleged to have been a party to the deaths but has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder.

Another man, Trent Thrupp, is accused of lowering the toolbox into the water while Breton and Triscaru screamed for their lives. Thrupp has not yet been required to enter a plea.

In a record of interview conducted with police in the Brisbane City watchhouse after Tahiata was charged with the murders, the 28-year-old recounted the pair's final moments at Scrubby Creek.

He told officers he saw Thrupp standing on the box, with water up to his knees, while the pair screamed inside, sinking into the water.

In the recording from February 2016, which was played to the jury today, Tahiata said the pair started screaming when the toolbox hit the water and Thrupp told him to discharge a firearm in an effort to silence Breton and Triscaru.

The court has previously heard the pair died from drowning or asphyxiation.

"... the minute it hit the water, they started like... really screaming," Tahiata told police.

"And I was like... I was just gonna drive off."

Police retrieve the large metal toolbox containing the victims’ bodies.
Police retrieve the large metal toolbox containing the victims’ bodies.

He told officers Thrupp stood on the toolbox to try and submerge it faster but it took between three and five minutes to sink.

"And then he pushed it out, stood on top, I could hear it even more (the screaming). And he's like: 'Oi c*** ... let off a round, let off a round'," Tahiata said in the interview.

"...it wasn't sinking fast enough, so I grabbed the claw-hammer. He goes: 'Oh sonny, give me the claw-hammer', so I threw it to him. He tried to bang it, nothing, so he throws it back to me, I jump back in the car."

The court heard after disposing of the bodies, Tahiata met up with some other people alleged to have been involved in the bashing and killings and visited a car wash.

Sometime later, Tahiata claimed he joined others, who returned to Scrubby Creek to check on the toolbox.

"We drove past it on the Logan Motorway to go and check to see if anything was happening and it was floating," he said during the interview.

He told police "we all went down, grabbed some rocks" and put them on top of the toolbox so it would sink back down to the bottom of Scrubby Creek.

The trial continues.

 

A sketch of murder accused Tuhirangi-Thomas Tahiata in Brisbane Supreme Court this week. Illustration: Michael Felix/AAP
A sketch of murder accused Tuhirangi-Thomas Tahiata in Brisbane Supreme Court this week. Illustration: Michael Felix/AAP

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