Jury told to imagine being blamed for campers’ deaths

Defence barrister Dermot Dann representing Greg Lynn arrives at Supreme Court in Melbourne, Wednesday, 15 May, 2024. Picture: AAP Image/James Ross

Jurors have been asked to put themselves in the shoes of an airline pilot accused of killing two campers when they retire to decide whether he is guilty of their murders.

Greg Lynn’s barrister Dermot Dann KC asked a Supreme Court jury of 14 on Wednesday 12 June to contemplate what they would have done if their improper gun storage had led to the deaths of two people.

“He thought he was going to be blamed for the deaths and he was 100 per cent correct,” Mr Dann told the court in Melbourne.

“He thought he was going to be wrongly blamed and he is being wrongly blamed.”

Lynn is on trial charged with two counts of murder over the deaths of campers Russell Hill and Carol Clay in Victoria’s alpine region in March 2020.

The 57-year-old told police, and the court, that the deaths were accidental.

Lynn claims Mrs Clay was shot in the head after a struggle between the two men as he tried to get his shotgun back from Mr Hill, who he said took it from Lynn’s car.

Mr Hill died during a second struggle over a knife, when Lynn claims he was trying to defend himself.

Prosecutors on Tuesday said this story was a “fanciful” work of fiction and that Lynn had one year and eight months to concoct a script about what had happened at Bucks Camp that evening.

But Mr Dann has taken aim at gaps in the prosecution’s case during his closing address, labelling it “a shambles”, “desperate” and “hopeless”.

“You’re being asked to find a man guilty of murder, there’s on the prosecution case zero factual foundation, zero motive, just a complete blank. Does that sit well with any of you?” he asked the jury on Wednesday.

Mr Dann said his client had admitted the charges he was guilty of – improper firearm storage and destruction of police evidence by burning the crime scene and bodies of the two campers.

He said a gun storage charge would have cost the Jetstar pilot his career, as Mr Dann asked jurors what they would do in that situation.

“He’s left the gun in the car, the magazine in the car, it’s unsecured and he’s failed in his storage of the gun,” Mr Dann said.

“You’ve got to put yourself in Mr Lynn’s shoes, presuming of course that he’s innocent.

“This was a disaster … of course he’s thinking about himself, of course he’s selfish, of course he was callous.”

As his barrister gave his address, Lynn’s wife Melanie and son Geordie sat in front of him and behind his lawyers on Wednesday, holding hands and nodding along in full view of the jury.

Mr Dann was set to finish closing the defence case on Wednesday afternoon.

Justice Michael Croucher would then outline details of the charge to the jury, before they are sent away to deliberate on a verdict.