Missing drug dealer 'owed $100,000, feared for life'

THE girlfriend of a missing Mount Gambier ice dealer, feared murdered, yesterday revealed he owed about $100,000, had been bashed and received a death threat.

Dionetta Ivey gave evidence on the second day of a Warrnambool Magistrates Court committal hearing.

Mount Gambier men Mark “Freddie” Moreland, 35, and Christopher Tippens, 29, have been charged with murder and Tai Thorp with assisting offenders after a murder.

Police allege Samantha Porter drove Mount Gambier man Gordon Hamm, 34, from Portland towards Mount Gambier in the early hours of Wednesday, July 17, last year.

Ms Porter described being boxed in by two four-wheel-drive vehicles at the Nelson bridge about 4am on the return trip. 

She identified Mr Moreland and Mr Tippens as the two men who forced Mr Hamm out of her car at gunpoint before she was told to drive off.

Ms Ivey said Ms Porter was hysterical during a telephone call conversation, saying Mr Moreland and Mr Tippens had abducted Ms Ivey’s boyfriend.

Ms Ivey said in the months leading up to the bridge incident Mr Hamm had been hiding at different locations because he feared for his life.

“He told me he owed a few people money. He said my life was at risk.” Ms Ivey said that was why Mr Hamm wasn’t staying with her.

“He owed a local man in Mount Gambier 80k ($80,000).”

Ms Ivey said the debt was drug related and Mr Hamm, who was an ice trafficker, owed another man $12,000 and also had other debts. She said she saw a text message on her iPhone from “Timmy” saying: “That’s it Gordo. You’ve signed your contract, you’ll get what’s coming to you”.

Ms Ivey said she heard a angry conversation between Mr Hamm and “Timmy” in which Mr Hamm said he didn’t have the money he owed but would get it. She also described another incident in which three men stormed through a bedroom window and bashed Mr Hamm.

Ms Ivey said she understood Mr Hamm went to Portland on Tuesday, July 16, 2013, to buy ice and speed after he won $6000 on gaming machines in Mount Gambier. “He said he was going to reload. Those were the words he used to use. He had a large sum of money on him,” she said.

The committal hearing will continue today.

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