Vincent O'Dempsey.
Vincent O'Dempsey. Nine News

Informant claims he was to send code to McCulkin accused

A PRISON informant says he was to meet a woman in Toowoomba and send a coded message regarding the meeting to the man accused of killing the McCulkins.

The informant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, made the claim while giving evidence in the Brisbane Supreme Court trial of Vincent O'Dempsey on Wednesday.

Mr O'Dempsey, a 78-year-old Warwick resident, has pleaded not guilty to three charges of murder and one of deprivation of liberty in relation to the disappearance of Barbara McCulkin and her daughters Vicki, 13, and Leanne, 11.

The family was last seen alive at their Highgate Hill home in January 1974.

The informant told the court he was to meet a woman called 'Haynes' in Toowoomba and they would have a discussion.

"I was to send a postcard to another person in prison saying I'd been to see Haynes,” The informant said.

"If she was on board it was (to say) G'day to all the boys.

"If 'All' was on the card then he knew what to do.”

The former prisoner told the court on Tuesday he made notes of several conversations with Mr O'Dempsey while they were in the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre together.

The Crown alleges a "suspected connection” between the Torino and Whiskey Au Go Go fires in 1973 "would provide a motive for Mr Dubois and Mr O'Dempsey (as a friend of Dubois to) keep Barbara McCulkin quiet.”

"It may not sound a sufficient motive or even a sensible one, but there never is for murder,” prosecutor David Meredith told the jury during his opening address.

Mr O'Dempsey's trial was separated from that of his co-accused, Gary Reginald 'Shorty' Dubois.

The trial before Justice Peter Applegarth continues.    - ARM NEWSDESK


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