Drug king pin’s family ordered to pay $315,000

THE mother of missing Mackay businessman Markis Scott Turner has been ordered to pay the court the $315,000 surety offered as part of his bail.

And if she does not pay it within six months, she will be jailed for a year.

Because Mr Turner did not turn up to court, the Director of Public Prosecutions has been calling for his mother, Elizabeth Anne Turner, to forfeit the money she offered as part of her son's bail.

But Ms Turner fought this, saying she believed her son had suicided.

Following a hearing at Brisbane Supreme Court last month, Justice Peter Flanagan yesterday ruled that Ms Turner should forfeit the cash deposit of $70,000 she has already lodged and that she pay a reduced surety within six months.

He said the inference that Mr Turner had suicided could not be drawn from the evidence.

Mr Turner was arrested by Australian Federal Police on May 27, 2011 and charged with conspiring to import and traffic drugs.

Five days later he was granted bail with conditions including a $150,000 deposit and $450,000 surety. His mother and his grandmother each paid part of the deposit.

Mr Turner's trial was due to start in September last year and in August he had stopped reporting to police.

His wife and two children had travelled from Australia to Poland in July that year and have not returned.

Justice Flanagan's judgment said police searched Mr Turner's home and found furniture and personal possessions were still at his house, clothes were on the clothesline and a car was parked in the driveway.

Justice Flanagan said evidence that Mr Turner was deceased was "entirely circumstantial".

Ms Turner said her son's mental health had deteriorated and that he had made comments about suicide.

But Justice Flanagan said Ms Turner and her husband went on a road trip without their mobile phone around the time Mr Turner went missing.

He said Ms Turner also did not cut short her road trip when a family friend told her they could not locate Mr Turner.

"In particular, it is difficult to accept that if (Ms Turner) had such concerns for her son, she would embark on a three to four-week road trip with her husband without her mobile phone," Justice Flanagan said.

Ms Turner also did not report her son was missing until about six months after she had last seen him.

Justice Flanagan said Ms Turner gave "considerable financial assistance" to her son's legal fees, which were in excess of $800,000, which showed she believed her son would not abscond.

But he said it was inappropriate for the mother to take a three to four-week road trip where she would be out of contact with her son, considering it was so close to his trial and his mental state had deteriorated.