Third accused to stand trial in Nelson abduction case

A THIRD Mount Gambier man was yesterday committed to stand trial on charges relating to the abduction of a man on the Nelson Bridge last year.

Thai Thorp, 21, was committed to stand trial by magistrate Michael Coghlan on charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice and assisting offenders after a murder.

On Wednesday Mark Moreland, 35, and Christopher Tippens, 29, were committed to stand trial for the murder of Mount Gambier ice dealer Gordon Hamm, 34.

All three charged men have had their cases adjourned until a directions hearing in the Melbourne Supreme Court on March 19.

They all pleaded not guilty and none of them applied for bail.

Mr Coghlan said Mr Thorp claimed his vehicle was stolen or loaned to a mate and one possibility was that Mr Thorp lent his car to Mr Moreland or Mr Tippens.

The magistrate said there was clearly some evidence supporting the charges against Mr Thorp but ultimately the prosecution may give thought to lesser charges.

Mr Thorp also pleaded guilty to acting prejudicial to the good running of a police jail when he was twice caught smoking in the Warrnambool cells on Tuesday.

At 9am Tuesday he was seen by police smoking a cigarette in his cells. A search found a small match and striker.

That evening he was again seen smoking in the cells.

On the offence he was convicted and discharged.

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