Murder accused Jack Sadler tells court drug dealers killed Launceston man Jake Anderson-Brettner

ABC NEWS logo ABC NEWS 17.05.2021 10:30:34
a group of people on a dirt road: Police and SES volunteers searched the Launceston tip for body parts after Mr Anderson-Brettner's disappearance. (ABC News: Manika Dadson) © Provided by ABC NEWSPolice and SES volunteers searched the Launceston tip for body parts after Mr Anderson-Brettner's disappearance. (ABC News: Manika Dadson)

A Tasmanian man accused of murder has told the jury drug suppliers from Victoria killed his friend over a drug debt.

Jack Harrison Vincent Sadler, 29, is on trial in the Supreme Court in Launceston accused of murdering Jake Anderson-Brettner in August 2018.

WARNING: This story contains details that may cause distress. 

Mr Sadler told the court he first met Mr Anderson-Brettner in 2014, when working as a bouncer at a Launceston nightclub. 

He said on their first meeting, he kicked Mr Anderson-Brettner out of the nightclub for selling pills. 

The court heard they later developed a friendship. 

"Jake went out every weekend and I worked every weekend," he said. 

"We used to laugh about how we met." 

Mr Sadler told the jury that Mr Anderson-Brettner had asked him if he knew of anyone that was selling large amounts of ecstasy. 

Mr Sadler said he spoke to some people he knew in Victoria and arranged to buy drugs off them. 

The court heard the drug suppliers did not feel comfortable working directly with Mr Anderson-Brettner as they did not know him. 

The jury heard Mr Sadler would pass the drugs on to Mr Anderson-Brettner. Mr Sadler told the court he received a "finder's fee".

"I was given 50 cents for every pill Jake bought," he said.

Mr Sadler told the jury that in 2015, the drug suppliers in Victoria said a pill press was available for purchase, so Mr Sadler began making his own drugs. 

The first batch of drugs

The jury heard Mr Sadler nearly died the first time he tried to manufacture drugs, due to chemicals touching his skin through his shorts and T-shirt. 

Mr Sadler said after almost overdosing, he made sure to wear gloves, goggles, a mask, and overalls. 

The court heard laying plastic in the area used for manufacturing drugs was essential to ensure there was no wastage. 

Mr Sadler told the jury that Mr Anderson-Brettner had begun to develop a debt with the drug suppliers in Victoria. 

He told the court that Mr Anderson-Brettner bought cars, limos, motorcycles, a $4,000 puppy, holidays, and threw parties, posting about his purchases on social media. 

Mr Sadler said the drug suppliers in Victoria questioned how Mr Anderson-Brettner could afford all these items when he could not pay his debt back. 

The court heard that a meeting was to occur between Mr Anderson-Brettner, Mr Sadler and the drug suppliers from Victoria.

The meeting

Mr Sadler told the court that on the night of August 15, 2018, the three men arrived at his Riverside house and Mr Anderson-Brettner arrived shortly after. 

The court heard the drug suppliers were paranoid, telling Mr Anderson-Brettner and Mr Sadler to put their phones in the microwave. 

Mr Sadler said Mr Anderson-Brettner kept a second phone on him.

The jury were told the men had begun discussing the debt when Mr Anderson-Brettner's second phone rang. 

"They were pretty pissed," Mr Sadler said. 

"They said: 'Answer the phone but make sure it's on speaker.'" 

The court heard that the phone call was in relation to a house deposit being approved for Mr Anderson-Brettner. 

Mr Sadler said the drug suppliers asked how Mr Anderson-Brettner could afford a house but could not afford to repay his debt.

The court heard that Mr Sadler interjected at this point to separate the parties and calm everyone down. 

"It turned from a discussion about debt to accusation," Mr Sadler said. 

'Gun was pulled on both of us'

Mr Sadler said he took Mr Anderson-Brettner into a room in his house that was lined with plastic for drug manufacturing. 

He said he wanted Mr Anderson-Brettner to cool off and to show him how he made the drugs. 

The court heard that two of the drug suppliers then entered the room.

"The gun was pulled on both of us," Mr Sadler said. 

"They then turned the gun on Jake and shot him." 

Mr Sadler told the court the Victorian drug suppliers said that because he had vouched for Mr Anderson-Brettner, it was his mess to clean up. 

"I was told to do what we do, cut the body up and get rid of it," Mr Sadler said. 

The court had previously heard Mr Anderson-Brettner's torso was found by police in bushland off the Tasman Highway in the state's north-east, days after he was allegedly murdered.

The jury also heard that other body parts were disposed of in wheelie bins around northern Tasmania. 

The defence has also accepted that Mr Sadler was involved in the disposal of the deceased's body and that it was not in dispute that Mr Anderson-Brettner died an unnatural death.

Cross-examination pushes for drug dealers' names

In cross-examination, Director of Public Prosecutions Daryl Coates SC asked Mr Sadler to tell the court the names of the Victorian drug suppliers. 

Mr Sadler declined to release this information. 

"Are you serious . I'm not going to tell you, my family's out there," he said. 

"I'm not going to put my family in danger.

"I'm quite happy to spend the rest of my life in jail as long as my family is safe."

The prosecution said Mr Sadler was unable to name any of the drug suppliers because they did not come to the house on the night that Mr Anderson-Brettner was allegedly murdered. 

Mr Coates said it was Mr Sadler's evidence that he took considerable effort in the clean up to move the 75-kilogram pill press out of the house, but the gun used to kill Mr Anderson-Brettner was only hidden out the back door. 

The prosecution alleged that the pill press was never in the house to begin with, and that the room had not been prepped with plastic to manufacture drugs but to kill Mr Anderson-Brettner. 

Denying this allegation, Mr Sadler told the court he had moved the pill press into storage as he knew the police would be coming to the house but did not move the gun to a different location. 

"I'm a drug manufacturer, not a hitman," he said.

"I've never been in a situation like this, so I didn't know what I was doing."

The jury will hear closing addresses tomorrow.

lundi 17 mai 2021 13:30:34 Categories: ABC NEWS

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