Man could not help mates dispose of corpse
HE lifted the dead man's feet about 8cm from the ground before realising he could not help his new mates dispose of the body.
Andrew Kuiper, 46, had just arrived on a roadside at Coominya with two mates to find Lockyer Waters man Michael Desmond Manson, 48, lying face up beside his ute.
He pleaded guilty in Brisbane Supreme Court on Wednesday to improperly interfering with a corpse, reduced from an accessory to murder charge, on December 8, 2010.
Justice Margaret Wilson said Kuiper had been drinking with Lawrence Patrick Ambrose for his birthday when they received a phone call from Jamie Rex Teichmann, from Kilcoy, to help him with a dead body.
She said the trio had been drinking and watching a boxing match together earlier in the night.
"You tapped him on the face and got no response. You heard a noise like air escaping the body and realised he was dead," she said.
Justice Wilson said Teichmann, who is expected to face a trial later this year for murder, asked him and Ambrose to help move the body but he could not go through with it.
She said the other two men lifted the body into the back of the ute and then abandoned the ute in bushland near Bolingbroke Rd, Atkinson's Dam.
Manson was reported missing the next day and was found two days after that.
Justice Wilson sentenced Kuiper to six months jail, wholly suspended.
She said even though Kuiper's involvement was "fleeting", he made a poor decision in going to the crime scene with the men.
"It's improper because it was contrary to accepted community standards for dealing with the body of a deceased person," she said.
The court heard Kuiper had a work accident which led him to drinking a lot at his local pub where he met Ambrose and later Teichmann.
His barrister Bernard Reilly said his client just got mixed up with the wrong crowd but realised quickly what he was doing was wrong.
"He made a very poor decision," he said.
Mr Reilly said Kuiper, who was wearing a neck brace in the court, had another accident last weekend on his motorbike and was about to have x-rays at Ipswich hospital for suspected fractured vertebra in his neck.