At first it seemed like an accident. In November last year a 54-year-old man named Bruce Saunders was mulching branches with two friends at a property near Gympie. His shirt allegedly became tangled in the woodchipper and he was pulled into the machine. His two friends later told police they’d tried desperately to get him out but nothing could be done.
Acting Inspector Paul Algie told the Courier Mail that after 16 years in the police force it was one of the most harrowing crime scenes he’d ev come across. “I went out there this morning to speak to officers from Brisbane and I’d have to say it’s one of the worst incident scenes I’ve ever seen,” he said. “There was nothing that could be done to save this gentleman.”
But it now seems that Bruce Saunders’ death was no accident. On Tuesday three people were arrested and appeared in Maroochydore Magistrates Court charged with his murder. In the below video from QLD Police, we can see the three suspects being taken into the police station.
Two men were taken into custody that morning: Gregory Lee Roser, 59, from Deception Bay and Peter John Koenig, 61, from Gympie. Each were charged with one count of murder and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
The third person, Sharon Graham, 57, was arrested in Coolangatta, also charged with murder and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
According to the ABC the arrests had come about after months of painstaking police work. "The injuries sustained were as horrific as you can imagine, being consumed by a woodchipper," said Detective Inspector Gary Pettiford. "But after many months of very professional, painstaking and thorough work it's culminated today with the arrest of the three offenders that we will be alleging murdered Mr Saunders.”
He thanked family member for their help with assembling evidence. A trial date is yet to be set.