Drug dealer who shot client gets life behind bars

IT was the murder trial that had it all . . . sex, drugs, guns and set on the backdrop of the state's glitter strip.

But in the end the convicted murderer will spend a minimum 15 years behind bars.

A chance encounter with a prostitute, her husband, her client and a drug dealer resulted in one them being shot and killed in the early hours of the morning.

The client, who had earlier spent two-and-a-half hours with the prostitute, was found dead in the middle of a busy Gold Coast thoroughfare named Hooker Boulevard a short time later.

The drug dealer, Hervey Bay man Anthony Stewart Bagley, was found guilty in the Brisbane Supreme Court earlier this year of executing the client, Colin Edgar Lutherborrow on July 20, 2011, and was subsequently sentenced to life behind bars.

Both men had only met that night.

Bagley took his fight to the state's highest court in a bid to have his conviction overturned claiming the jury's verdict was unreasonable and the trial judge had erred in allowing a police recording taken while he was in jail to be played at the trial.

But the Queensland Court of Appeal disagreed.

Justice John Muir, in delivering his findings on Friday, said the trial judge had erred in admitting the interview due to the unfairness in the way it was obtained and its substantial prejudicial effect.

He said trial judge had an obligation to ensure a fair trial, but it was not enough to overturn the conviction given the mountain of evidence the Crown offered against Bagley.

"The judge should have at least asked counsel whether he wanted to reconsider his position as to the admission of the evidence," he said.

"This is not a case in which it is so clear that the evidence must have been excluded that this court could conclude there was a miscarriage of justice in its admission."

Bagley will be eligible to apply for parole in 2029.


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