Witness denies hearing murder plot

Farmer Jeffrey Ryan.
Farmer Jeffrey Ryan.

A WITNESS has denied being told a woman, now on trial for murdering her estranged grazier husband, wanted him killed.

Giving evidence in the NSW Supreme Court in Sydney on Monday, Ian “Sharky” Carroll said his “whacky” friend Ganene Coulter rang him in 2009 saying her sister was “in trouble with her husband and that he was belting her”.

Mr Carroll said she asked if he could help her sister “get out of the house”, but instead he contacted another man, who it is alleged was the hitman.

Coulter's sister, Helen Ryan, 51, and their mother, Coralie Coulter, 71, have pleaded not guilty to murdering former Casino grazier Jeffrey Ryan, who was shot dead in October 2009 at the Ryans' property at Duri near Tamworth, in northern NSW.

The Crown alleges Ryan organised the $30,000 contract killing of her husband, while her mother provided $10,000, knowing the money was a part-payment for the contract.

Ganene Coulter has been sentenced after pleading guilty to conspiracy to murder and is due to give evidence at the trial.

Mr Carroll denied a suggestion by Crown prosecutor Terry Thorpe that when Ganene Coulter first rang him she said: “Helen wanted her husband killed”.

He said when he spoke to the man he contacted to help Mrs Ryan, the discussions related to the man just being required to be “present”, but if it went further it would just be a “touch up”.

“He rang me and said she might want more, but did not elaborate,” Mr Carroll said.

Topics:  casino murder

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