An Albanian man who died after being fatally beaten in a drug house was on the run from immigration officials, his friend and former housemate has told a jury.
An Albanian man who died after being fatally beaten in a drug house was on the run from immigration officials, his friend and former housemate has told a jury.

Man killed in drug house was on the run from Immigration

An Albanian national who died after being beaten to death in a drug house was hiding from immigration authorities after his Visa was cancelled, a jury has been told.

Benjamin John Mitchell, 33, Alfred Claude Rigney, 44, Matt Bernhard Tenhoopen, 25, and Aaron Donald Carver, 37, are standing trial in the Supreme Court charged with the murder of Urim Gjabri in October 2018.

Dritan Boba, a friend of Mr Gjabri since they were in immigration detention together in 2013, told the jury that his former housemate had been scared of immigration officials and had moved out six months before he died.

"He told me he was leaving because of immigration," Mr Boba said.

"He did not tell me exactly where he was going and what he was going to do.

"I was not interested in knowing, we just shared a house together."

Mr Gjabri moved into a house in Para Vista where a large drug crop was being grown.

He was found dead in the house three days after he was fatally beaten. Only stalks of the cannabis remained.

Mr Boba was notified by police days before the body was found - when Mr Gjabri's car was found on abandoned on a street in Ingle Farm.

Benjamin John Mitchell at a jury viewing in Para Vista. Picture: Tom Huntley
Benjamin John Mitchell at a jury viewing in Para Vista. Picture: Tom Huntley

Police attended Mr Boba's address thinking Mr Gjabri still lived there, though he had left six months earlier.

Aaron Donald Carver at a jury viewing in Para Vista. Picture: Tom Huntley
Aaron Donald Carver at a jury viewing in Para Vista. Picture: Tom Huntley

It took two more days for Mr Gjabri's body to be found at the property in Carousel St, Para Vista.

Earlier in the trial the jury heard that Mr Gjabri's car had been used to transport numerous garbage bags of cannabis from the house.

In opening the trial, prosecutor Rob Walker said that at the same time Mr Gjabri's car was being unloaded of its drug cargo on the streets of Ingle Farm, its owner lay bleeding and dying only a few kilometres away.

Mr Gjabri suffered fatal head wounds which would not have killed him instantly.

It is believed that he stumbled around the house, splashing blood and vomiting, before dying in the living room of the property, which had been converted into his bedroom.

The jury has heard that the four accused can be linked to the crime by mobile phone data.

The trial continues before Justice David Lovell.

Originally published as Man killed in drug house was on the run from Immigration


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