FBI asked to match boot prints
Mon, 25 Jun 2012 10:39a.m.
By Lloyd Burr
The mystery surrounding Ewen Macdonald’s dive boots has again been the focus of proceedings at the Scott Guy murder trial.
The search to find the item of footwear that left unique wavy impressions around Mr Guy’s dead body went as far as the FBI in the United States as well as databases in Canada and Australia, the High Court in Wellington has heard.
Macdonald is on trial for murdering Mr Guy – his business partner and brother-in-law – in the early hours of July 8, 2010. Macdonald denies the charge.
The Crown argues Macdonald wore the boots on the night he murdered Mr Guy because imprints from the soles of the boots were found around Mr Guy’s body and in the neighbouring paddock leading to where the puppies were housed.
The boots have never been found.
Detective Laurie Howell revealed the difficulty of identifying the impressions which are now known to be left by a Proline dive boot known as the W375.
Mr Howell says he searched through more than 30,000 types of shoes before he linked the impressions to the Proline diveboot.
He says searches of police databases in the United States and in Canada came up with nothing and it was an investigation by a fellow detective, James Bugg, which led him to the Proline boot.
There were more than 50 boot impressions found at the scene including a number found at Mr Guy’s feet and close to his head.
Police forensic scientist David Neale said when he arrived at the scene on the morning of the murder, blood was still flowing into one of the impressions near Mr Guy’s head.
Also giving evidence today was Proline boot importer Richard Stephens who said he distributed just five pairs of the size 9 boots to the Manawatu Hunting and Fishing shop owned by Macdonald’s father Kerry.
Imprints from a size 9 W375-type Proline dive boot were found near the body of Mr Guy, who was shot at the end of his Aorangi Rd driveway two years ago.
Mr Stephens told the court this morning the boots had a wholesale price of $35 and a regular retail price of $59.95.
In evidence given last week, Kerry Macdonald said he had allowed his son to purchase a pair of the boots at their wholesale price.
The boots were light weight, easy to put on and quiet, the court has heard this morning.
Andrew Tannock, head of the Hunting and Fishing franchise and former owner of Manawatu Hunting and Fishing, gave an overview of the boot this morning.
He says the boot was ideal for deer stalking because they were quiet which made it “easy to sneak up on animals”.
“They are just something you slip on, they are water proof, easy to pack and light weight.”
It is the fourth week of the trial where Macdonald denies killing his brother-in-law by shooting him.
In evidence given last week, Macdonald’s wife Anna said her husband owned an array of boots, but she could not remember if he owned diving boots.
She says he kept heaps of boots in a cupboard at the back door of their house.
“Ewen owned all sorts of boots, tall boots, short boots, farm boots, the kids boots, they are all just dumped in there,” she says.
She told the High Court in Wellington she remembers wanting to throw one dive boot out in 2008 when they moved from the farm cottage to the main farm house.
However, she cannot remember physically throwing it out.
She also added that she didn’t take much interest in Ewen’s hunting ventures or gear.
“I don’t care about hunting stuff...I don’t care about the stuff he has got,” she told the court.
Ewen Macdonald Police interviews
Photos show Ewen wearing dive boots
On Friday court was shown photographs of Ewen wearing Proline-branded dive boots on a hunting trip in 2005 with his father.
Kerry Macdonald said his shop stocks that particular brand of boot and they “trickle out”.
The Crown argues Ewen Macdonald wore the boots on the night he murdered Mr Guy because imprints from the soles of the boots were found around Mr Guy’s body and in the neighbouring paddock leading to where the puppies were housed.
Also giving evidence on Friday was Ewen Macdonald’s mother Marlene who recalled seeing the boot after her son moved to 147 Aorangi Rd.
She said it was at the back door and remembered it because he had told her the spare key was in it.
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