Portland shooting trial: man denies aiding killer

A friend of a gunman who shot dead a 20-year-old Portland man in 2012 helped the killer hide the weapon used, the Supreme Court in Warrnambool was told yesterday.

A friend of a gunman who shot dead a 20-year-old Portland man in 2012 helped the killer hide the weapon used, the Supreme Court in Warrnambool was told yesterday.

A FRIEND of a gunman who shot dead a 20-year-old Portland man in 2012 helped the killer hide the weapon used, the Supreme Court in Warrnambool was told yesterday.

Prosecutor Diana Piekusis told the court that Wayde Landmark had also helped the killer remove a spent cartridge from the gun, provided him with a false alibi and washed his clothes to remove gunshot residue.

Mr Landmark, of Portland, has pleaded not guilty to impeding the prosecution of Leonard Sciascia over the fatal shooting at Portland on October 15, 2012.

Ms Piekusis told the court that Mr Sciascia had shot Troy Hocking, 20, of Portland, over money Mr Hocking owed him.

Mr Hocking died the next morning in Royal Melbourne Hospital, she said.

Ms Piekusis said Mr Sciascia put a pistol to the head of Mr Hocking, who said he did not believe Mr Sciascia “had the guts to pull the trigger”.

Mr Sciascia had then shot him through the left arm and chest, she said. 

In the days before the shooting there had been a fight between a group that included Mr Hocking and another group that included Mr Sciascia, over the latter’s confiscation of some of Mr Hocking’s belongings to recoup money owed to him.

Soon after the fight, a car carrying Mr Hocking had rammed into a vehicle carrying Mr Sciascia.

On October 15, a number of hostile text messages were exchanged between Mr Hocking and Mr Sciascia and the two had agreed to meet at Portland’s Pivot Beach to sort out their differences with what was expected to be a fist fight.

However, when Mr Sciascia and three others including Mr Landmark had stopped to recruit a fifth person for the showdown, a car carrying Mr Hocking and two others had pulled up.

Mr Landmark had punched Mr Hocking before Mr Sciascia had argued with Mr Hocking and shot him. After the shooting, Mr Landmark helped Mr Sciascia stash the pistol used in the shooting in a paddock, Ms Piekusis said.

Mr Landmark had then accompanied Mr Sciascia to a drive-in bottle shop in Portland so Mr Sciascia could be filmed on its closed-circuit television to provide an alibi for his whereabouts at the time of the shooting, she said.

Mr Sciascia had later placed his clothes in Mr Landmark’s washing machine to remove gunshot residue and asked Mr Landmark for clothes.

Jarrod Williams, for Mr Landmark, said Mr Sciascia had hidden the gun in the paddock and not his client.

He said that when Mr Sciascia had asked Mr Landmark to give him something  as they left the scene of the shooting, Mr Landmark had not known the item would be used to clear a spent cartridge from the gun.

Mr Williams also questioned whether Mr Landmark contributed to giving Mr Sciascia a false alibili, saying Mr Landmark had only been present in the car that took Mr Sciascia to the bottle shop.

The trial by jury is continuing.

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