Murder victim Shaun Barker.
Murder victim Shaun Barker. Photo Contributed

'Evidence missing' in body in an esky murder

ONE of the fishers convicted of the brutal abduction and murder of Gold Coast man Shaun Barker has claimed key evidence that raised doubts on the prosecution case was "missing” at his trial.

William Francis Dean was convicted of kidnapping Mr Barker, beating him and keeping him locked in a commercial fishing esky before killing him near Tin Can Bay in 2013. Dean was jailed for life.

Mr Barker's burned body was found near Gympie months after he went missing.

Dean appeared before the Queensland Court of Appeal on Monday in the lead-up to the court hearing his appeal against the conviction.

He told the court he believed evidence in his favour had not been made available at his trial.

The evidence includes the build of the car he was convicted of transporting Mr Barker around in.

Dean said one witness at the trial claimed to see Dean in the back seat of his Toyota LandCruiser. But Dean maintains the vehicle did not have a backseat.

He has requested police photographs of the LandCruiser from a ticket he received be made available to prove this.

"There is a large amount of evidence in this case that has never been disclosed to me,” he said.

Dean also requested uncensored photos of his LandCruiser crossing the Gateway Bridge in Brisbane be made available. He said the photos were released to Crimestoppers to help find his vehicle, but had parts blacked out.

Dean told the court the photos may show Mr Barker was not in the LandCruiser when he was alleged to be.

He claimed he asked his lawyers to investigate his claims, but they failed to follow his instructions.

Crown prosecutor Caroline Marco said Dean's lawyers at the trial had requested much, if not all, of the evidence and it had been provided to them.

Court of Appeal President Walter Sofronoff suggested Dean could have a barrister look at his claims pro bono to see if there was merit to the appeal.

The court will hear the appeal at a date to be set. -NewsRegional