Weed sprayer tells murder trial of encounter with 'sweaty' man days before High Country camper deaths (2024)

Two weed sprayers recommended a former pilot set up camp at Bucks Camp days before he allegedly murdered two retirees at the remote campsite in Victoria's High Country, a court has heard.

Weed sprayer Robbie Williams told Victoria's Supreme Court how he was working in the Wonnangatta Valley in March 2020 when a "sweaty" man in deer hunting gear – matching the description of alleged murderer Greg Lynn — asked him where to camp.

In an interaction which Mr Williams agreed was "friendly" and "good-natured", he said he told the man that "Bucks Camp was the best camp" and later saw him parked at the spot.

Mr Lynn, 57, has pleaded not guilty to the murders of Russell Hill, 74, and Carol Clay, 73, who went missing after a camping trip in the remote Wonnangatta Valley in March 2020.

Weed sprayer tells murder trial of encounter with 'sweaty' man days before High Country camper deaths (1)

In colourful evidence during Thursday's hearing in Victoria's Supreme Court, weed sprayer Mr Williams also told the court how on the day of the alleged murders, he saw a couple driving towards Bucks Camp in a "snazzy" white Landcruiser ute with a silver canopy.

"I wouldn't have minded it myself," he told the court.

Mr Williams's description matches the car of Mr Hill and Ms Clay, which was later found burnt and abandoned at the Bucks Camp site.

Mr Williams told the court the male driver of the Landcruiser looked "really grumpy" and like he might have been having an argument when he drove past him while he was weed spraying a roadside on March 20, 2020.

"He just looked really grumpy and sad … it was just the way he sped past me, it's unusual, people usually slow down," Mr Williams told the court.

Prosecutors allege the couple was murdered later that evening.

Court hears alleged murder happened after a drone dispute

The disappearance of Mr Hill and Ms Clay in March 2020 sparked a significant search operation.

Mr Lynn was not arrested over the murders until November 2021, the court heard earlier this week.

Prosecutors allege Mr Lynn, while camping near the couple at Bucks Camp on a deer hunting trip, murdered the pair – shooting Ms Clay in the head – before burning their campsite and hiding their bodies in a remote location in Victoria's alpine area.

While the exact motive for the alleged crime is not known, prosecutors have told the court the killings may have followed a dispute over Mr Hill's drone.

Defence lawyers for Mr Lynn agree he contaminated evidence – including removing and later burning, the two bodies, but have told the court the deaths were accidental and occurred following a dispute over deer hunting in which Mr Hill took Mr Lynn's gun.

In late 2021, prosecutors told the court that skeletal remains, most of them "incomplete" and showing evidence of burning, were found at a site off Union Spur Track near Dargo.

Weed sprayer tells murder trial of encounter with 'sweaty' man days before High Country camper deaths (2)

Mr Williams also recalled a drone being flown over his own campsite later that same evening in a way that was "a bit rude".

He did not know where the drone was being flown from or who was flying it but waved to it.

He told the court he was camped about 3 kilometres away from Bucks Camp.

"We got back to camp and knocked off and had been lighting a fire when I heard this noise coming down the river and couldn't work out what it was," he told the court.

"Then I looked up and noticed over the top of me there was a drone flying over the top of me, very low."

The court also heard from another weed sprayer, Walter Gibbs, who recalled the "friendly" and short conversation with the deer hunter about Bucks Camp.

He also saw the drone flying in the evening of March 20, 2020.

Serbian campers saw couple on the day they died

The court also heard from a pair of Serbian campers from New South Wales who were visiting the Wonnangatta valley to "explore" and "pick mushrooms" around the time of the alleged murder.

One of them, truck driver Goran Miljkovic, told the jury via an interpreter he saw an older couple travelling in a white Toyota Landcruiser ute, matching the description of the car found at the campsite belonging to Russell Hill and Carol Clay.

Mr Miljkovic agreed with the prosecutor Daniel Porceddu that at the time him and his friend discussed "that it looked like grandma and grandma out for a drive".

The following day, on the morning of the alleged murder, the pair were dealing with a flat tyre on their car when the same older couple walked past nearby.

Mr Miljkovic said they waved at each other. He said that was the last time he saw them.

The trial continues.

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Weed sprayer tells murder trial of encounter with 'sweaty' man days before High Country camper deaths (2024)

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