Body-in-a-barrel case takes another turn as man accused of being an accessory to murder of schoolgirl, 16, has charges dropped – after her killer was bashed to death in jail
- Man charged with accessory to the murder of Larissa Beilby has case dismissed
- Joseph Dean Geiger will walk free due to insufficient evidence for a conviction
- Brisbane girl Larissa Beilby was murdered in 2018, her body stuffed into a barrel
- 16-year old’s alleged killer was died in jail in November 2020
A man who let accused body-in-a-barrel murderer Zlatko Sikorsky sleep on his couch while at the centre of a police hunt will not stand trial.
Joseph Dean Geiger was charged with being an accessory to the murder of 16-year-old Brisbane schoolgirl Larissa Beilby, whose body was found in a barrel in the back of a ute on the Gold Coast in June 2018.
Sikorsky was accused of torturing and murdering the teenager, but died in November after being bashed in prison by another inmate.
Joseph Dean Geiger has had his charge dismissed of being an accessory to the murder of 16-year-old Brisbane schoolgirl Larissa Beilby (pictured) due to a lack of evidence
He was taken to Mr Geiger’s apartment at Alexandra Headland on the Sunshine Coast on June 28 after being identified as the chief suspect
Officers launched a manhunt for Sikorsky, sharing his photograph and appealing for anyone with information to contact police.
But Mr Geiger says he didn’t know the man introduced to him as ‘John’ was wanted by police, Brisbane Magistrates Court was told on Thursday.
While Sikorsky was asleep on the couch in the apartment, Mr Geiger’s partner visited.
The couple got into an argument that came to the attention of the complex manager who recognised Sikorsky.
‘He had seen the media reports, realised who Mr Sikorsky was and he went out and telephoned police,’ defence barrister Angus Edwards said.
Mr Geiger was still oblivious as to his visitor’s identity when he left the unit, returning later to discover a siege under way as Sikorsky refused to surrender for more than a day.
Larissa Beilby (pictured) whose body was found in a barrel in the back of a ute on the Gold Coast in June 2018
Ms Beilby’s killer Zlatko Sikorsky (left) was murdered in jail by another inmate in November, 2020. Police released an image of his vehicle (right) in an effort to locate him for questioning in June, 2018.
After searching online to find out who Sikorsky was Mr Geiger returned to the complex to give police a key to his unit.
‘That in a nutshell is the case against my client: That he was together with a man who was wanted for murder,’ Mr Edwards said.
‘There is no evidence at all that my client knew who this man was.
‘There is no evidence at all that he had heard anything about the murder.
‘In fact, the evidence, such as it is, is to the contrary.’
Mr Edwards said there was evidence of phone contact between Sikorsky and Mr Geiger, but only on the two days they spent time together.
But the prosecution claimed Mr Geiger must have known Sikorsky as a person wanted by police following multiple media reports.
Mr Edwards said there was evidence of phone contact between Sikorsky and Mr Geiger (pictured), but only on the two days they spent time together
Mr Geiger (left) walked free from court on Thursday after magistrate Michael Quinn dismissed the charge due to a lack of evidence
The Crown case relied on the statement of a woman – also charged with being an accessory after the teenager’s killing – who told police Mr Geiger ‘seemed familiar’ with Sikorsky when he let the accused murderer into his unit, prosecutor Bimal Rout said.
However, there was no evidence Mr Geiger knew Sikorsky before that day, Mr Rout told the court.
After considering the evidence for hours magistrate Michael Quinn dismissed the charge against Mr Geiger on Thursday.
There was insufficient evidence for a jury to convict Mr Geiger of knowing Sikorsky may have committed murder and helping him escape punishment if the case proceeded to trial, Mr Quinn said.