Jamie Gao murder: Rogerson and McNamara should be jailed for life, prosecutor says
Updated about 2 hours ago
The notorious corrupt former detective Roger Rogerson and his co-accused Glen McNamara should be jailed for life for the murder of drug dealer Jamie Gao, a Sydney court has been told.
Rogerson and McNamara are facing a sentencing hearing today, after being found guilty of murdering Sydney man Mr Gao during a drug deal at a Padstow storage facility on May 20, 2014.
Rogerson, 75, and McNamara, 57, pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Gao and dumping his body in waters off Cronulla the next day.
New South Wales Crown prosecutor Christopher Maxwell QC told the hearing in the NSW Supreme Court, life sentences have been applied in the past for contract killings.
“They together executed a young drug dealer for their financial gain. The contract killing is a category for which a life sentence can be given and has been given by this court over the years,” he said.
“There is no distinction between killing for payment … or killing for the purpose of financial gain, which is what this was about.
“This was a killing to enable both offenders to obtain the drug … colloquially known as ice … a drug that results in much crime itself.
“The attitude that both accused had towards the deceased after the murder amounted to a completely cold, calculated, lack of feeling, which was all about making him disappear.”
Mr Maxwell said the pair had used their “experience and training for the complete antithesis of what was intended”.
“There is nothing to suggest they would..not be a danger to society.”
Mr Maxwell told the judge the offence was made even more serious because of their intention to “obtain and distribute a drug that is a scourge of our society”.
The crown said the both men were part of a joint criminal enterprise and a great deal of thought was put into it.
“There is nothing ludicrously incompetent about this,” he said.
“There’s a boldness in Mr Rogerson’s attitude.”
He told the judge they planned to make sure Mr Gao’s body would disappear.
“They did everything to make that happen.”
Differing accounts of Gao’s death heard during trial
During the trial, both men denied pulling the trigger and instead pointed the blame at each other.
McNamara’s defence told the trial it was Rogerson who shot and killed Mr Gao before threatening McNamara and his family, forcing him to help dispose of the body.
Rogerson claimed the 20-year-old was killed during a struggle with McNamara and the student was dead on the floor when he entered the shed.
The trial was told by prosecutors both had given “far-fetched and unbelievable” versions of what happened.
Mr Gao told his cousin Justin Gao he was going to be involved in a massive drug deal with a man called ‘Glen’ that was going to make him rich.
He held a number of meetings with McNamara in the months before his death — McNamara claimed these meetings were for a book he was writing about Asian crime gangs.
This explanation was dismissed by prosecutors, who said McNamara and Rogerson were preparing for the killing.
Prosecutors told the court the crown did not have to prove which of the defendants killed Mr Gao, just that there was an agreement to kill or seriously injure the victim.
It took the jury just under a week to reach the verdicts.
Justice Geoffrey Bellew thanked them for their service and excused them from ever serving again, unless they wished to do so.
Surveillance camera footage creates a detailed timeline of the 2014 killing of Jamie Gao.
Early January, 2014 Jamie Gao and Glen McNamara meet up at least 27 times in the lead up to Gao’s death, often at the Meridian Hotel in Hurstville.
Early March, 2014 Roger Rogerson obtains keys to storage unit 803 at Rent a Space, Padstow, from a friend called Michael McGuire. Rogerson says he wanted to look at office furniture. Gao is eventually killed inside the shed.
April 27, 2014 A white Ford Falcon station wagon with number plates BV67PX is purchased at Outback Used Cars in Lethbridge Park. The car is later used to transport Gao’s body. Rogerson and McNamara deny involvement in the car’s acquisition, but Rogerson’s fingerprints are found on the receipt.
May 19, 2014 McNamara removes his 4.5 metre Quintrex boat from Hunter Self Storage at Taren Point without notifying staff. This is later used to dump Gao’s body at sea.
May 19, 3.15pm CCTV footage from Rent a Space captures Rogerson removing office chairs from storage unit 803 and placing them in the back of his silver Ford station wagon.
May 19, afternoon A white Nissan Silvia, consistent with Gao’s car, does a U-turn outside Rent a Space.
May 19, 7.50pm The night before Gao is killed, McNamara and Gao meet at the Meridian Hotel, Hurstville. The meeting lasts about 30 minutes.
May 20, 11.37am McNamara uses a payphone in Cronulla Mall to call Gao. CCTV from Cold Rock Ice Creamery captures him walking towards to the phone.
May 20, 1.17pm Rogerson and McNamara drive in separate cars to Rent a Space. McNamara is seen opening and closing the door four times in nine minutes.
May 20, 1.35pm Gao is seen walking down Arab Road, Padstow, dressed in dark-coloured clothes, towards a white Ford station wagon that McNamara is in.
May 20, 1,42pm McNamara drives to the front gate of Rent a Space and enters the gate code – his hood is up and sunglasses are on.
May 20, 1.46pm Gao is seen getting out of the back of a white Ford station wagon and shielded by McNamara as he slips into storage unit 803. It is the last time he is seen alive.
May 20, 1.49pm Rogerson opens the door to storage unit 803 exactly three minutes and 16 seconds after Gao and McNamara entered.
May 20, 2.03pm McNamara comes out of the storage unit, retrieves a silver Ocean & Earth surfboard bag from the white Ford station wagon, and returns to the storage unit.
May 20, 2.18pm McNamara and Rogerson are seen dragging a surfboard cover containing Gao’s body, and load it into the boot of the white Ford station wagon.
May 20, about 4pm Rogerson and McNamara are seen at Kennards Hire in Taren Point, buying a two-tonne chain block that was later used to lift Gao’s body into McNamara’s boat.
May 20, about 5.15pm A few hours after the killing, Rogerson and McNamara share a six-pack of beer at McNamara’s unit in McDonald St, Cronulla. (McNamara claims he only helped to dispose of Gao’s body because his life was threatened by Rogerson.)
May 21, 7.28am A Quintrex boat carrying the body of Gao and a blue tarpaulin leaves McNamara’s Cronulla unit block.
May 21, 7.32am McNamara and Rogerson are seen carrying fishing rods in the lift of McNamara’s unit block.
May 21, 11.05am After disposing of Gao’s body, McNamara brings his Quintrex boat back to Hunter Self Storage at Taren Point.
May 22 McNamara says he was so worried when he found 3kg of ice in his car that he went to Kmart and bought two pillowslips, a measuring jug and a spoon. He claims this was to “seal” the drugs to stop them from exploding.
May 25, 6.30pm Robbery and Serious Crime Squad detectives arrest McNamara at a vehicle stop at Kyeemagh. He is refused bail and appears at Kogarah Local Court the following day.
May 26 Fishermen spot the body of Jamie Gao inside a surfboard bag wrapped in blue tarpaulin about 2.5 kilometres offshore of Shelley Beach, Cronulla.
May 27, 11am Police swoop on Rogerson’s Padstow Heights home. He is escorted out in handcuffs and taken to Bankstown police station, where he is refused bail.