Mackay fugitive allegedly paid cash for boat parts
A MACKAY millionaire businessman-turned-fugitive paid cash for a boat part ordered under his mother's business name in the weeks before he allegedly fled the country ahead of a cocaine smuggling trial, a court heard.
Fresh details have emerged about alleged drug kingpin Markis Scott Turner during a committal hearing for his mother.
Elizabeth Anne Turner, who is accused of helping her son buy and prepare the yacht he sailed to the Philippines on, has today been committed to Mackay District Court for her alleged role in his escape.
Semi-retired Mackay spare parts operator Geoffrey Walsh gave evidence during the committal hearing that on about August 7, 2015 Mr Turner paid cash for a starter motor for a boat as "he was going in a trip" and "he would be out there a while".
"I didn't ask him where ... he was going somewhere," Mr Walsh, GW Industrial founder, said.
Mackay Magistrates Court heard Mr Turner had brought a rusted starter motor into Mr Walsh's shop and asked about "purchasing a starter motor suitable for marine application".
"He told me it was for a boat and the boat was … on the hard … down at the yard (in Mackay)," Mr Walsh said.
Mr Walsh told the court Mr Turner wanted the Mount Coolon Hotel on the invoice for the replacement starter motor "yet he paid cash for it".
Ms Turner owns and operates Mount Coolon Hotel which is currently on the market for $650,000.
The court heard Mr Turner picked up the invoice when he collected the starter motor about August 12.
Mr Turner was arrested and charged in May 2011 over allegations he was a major player in a multimillion-dollar drug syndicate.
It is alleged he imported more than 71 kilograms of cocaine from South America into Australia after the Australian Federal Police seized barrels of hydraulic oil reportedly containing drugs at Mackay railway yards. The trial was to start in September 2015.
Mr Turner, who was on supreme court bail, last reported to police about 6.30am on August 14 that year and disappeared until his capture two years later in 2017 in the Philippines, where he remains awaiting extradition.
The court heard Mr Walsh voluntarily spoke to police in 2015 after seeing an article in the Daily Mercury about Mr Turner.
He said he saw Mr Turner's picture in the paper and thought "crikey better go and tell them that he bought a starter motor off me".
Mr Turner's 65-year-old mother is charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice between July 2013 and September 2017.
She is also charged with giving false testimony to the supreme court in April 2016, claiming her son had taken his own life after he failed to appear at his trial.
CDPP barrister Benedict Power tendered almost 300 exhibits including electronic and paper documents.
Ms Turner, represented by barrister Andrew O'Brien, declined to comment when asked in court as her case was committed.
The CDPP now has six months to indict her in the higher court.