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Jury returns not guilty verdicts in alleged FMR Investments gold stealing trial



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The jury in a District Courtroom trial of 5 folks accused of a million-dollar gold theft in WA’s Goldfields has returned a verdict of not responsible on all counts.

After listening to proof from eight witnesses, the four-week trial ended on Tuesday with the group’s acquittal after barely two hours of deliberations.

The jury returned not responsible verdicts on all 10 fees associated to the alleged theft of 8,465 tonnes of gold-bearing ore from the Greenfields Mill close to Coolgardie 4 years in the past.

The gold the ore produced, and which was bought to the Perth Mint, was price $1.17 million primarily based on metallic costs on the time. 

Among the many accused was the previous basic supervisor of gold miner FMR Investments, 42-year-old Patrick Rhyan Keogh, who didn’t converse to reporters as he walked out of the Kalgoorlie courthouse. 

An elderly man and his wife leaving a courthouse.
Aidan Keogh (proper) leaves Kalgoorlie courthouse moments after his son Patrick was acquitted.    (ABC Goldfields: Jarrod Lucas)

Mr Keogh testified that FMR Investments founder Peter Bartlett gave him permission to revenue off a waste stockpile someday in late 2012 or early 2013, and that he “did not need to ask him twice”, earlier than it was handled at Greenfields Mill between December 2018 and January 2019.  

Two men leaving courthouse after trial.
Russell Holden and his enterprise companion Simon Gash stroll out of courtroom after being acquitted.  (ABC Goldfields: Jarrod Lucas)

Mr Keogh and former Greenfields Mill supervisor Christopher Robert Burns, 76, had each pleaded not responsible to stealing as a servant and different fees referring to the proceeds of an offence.

Simon Leslie Gash, 57, and his enterprise companion, Russell Wilson Holden, 51, had pleaded not responsible to cash laundering and fraud fees over their alleged involvement by way of personal firm Aqua Alluvial Pty Ltd.

A woman wearing a suit jacket leaving court wearing sunglasses.
Morgan Dombroski cried within the dock because the not responsible verdict was learn out.  (ABC Goldfields: Jarrod Lucas)

Former mill superintendent Morgan Whitney Dombroski, 33, had additionally pleaded not responsible to possessing $5,050 suspected of being unlawfully obtained, which the prosecution alleged was leftover from a $90,000 money cost she obtained from Mr Burns.

An elderly man carries a box as he leaves court.
Christopher Robert Burns, 76, has been battling terminal most cancers all through the trial.  (ABC Goldfields: Jarrod Lucas)

Mr Keogh’s father Aidan stated was relieved when he spoke to reporters outdoors Kalgoorlie courthouse.

“I believe the decision was a simply and correct verdict, it ought to by no means have occurred however that is what occurred,” Aidan Keogh stated.

“Anyhow, it is a good end result.”

Aidan Keogh stated he was now not on talking phrases with Mr Bartlett, who testified towards his son and instructed the courtroom they’d been shut associates for 40 years.

“Um … I do not maybe assume so … for quite a lot of causes no, no, I believe we’ll simply let that cross,” Aidan Keogh stated.

Defence lawyer David Grace KC represented Mr Gash within the four-week trial and spoke to reporters outdoors courtroom.

“Very happy clearly, my shopper’s more than happy and really pleased the jury gave the matter all of the due consideration the matter deserved,” he stated.

“The shopper [Mr Gash] all the time believed in his personal case and his personal innocence, so I’m very pleased for him.”

Throughout the trial, Mr Grace stated his shopper had solely relied on “handshake agreements” for 4 earlier milling campaigns he had achieved at Greenfields Mill, telling the jury {that a} “man’s phrase is gold”.

There have been experiences through the trial that a number of the authorized groups’ charges had been upwards of $12,000 a day. 

Mr Grace stated the authorized invoice could be appreciable.

“I am unable to estimate that, however it virtually definitely can be, sure,” he instructed the ABC.