Greg Lynn: Victim Carol Clay’s daughter gives evidence in murder trial

Emily Woods
AAP
3 Min Read
Carol Clay and Russell Hill had been in a relationship for 14 years, her daughter said.
Carol Clay and Russell Hill had been in a relationship for 14 years, her daughter said. Credit: Victoria Police/AAP

The daughter of a woman allegedly murdered by an airline pilot while camping has spoken about her mother’s loving relationship of 14 years with Russell Hill before their deaths.

Carol Clay, 73, and Mr Hill, 74, were camping together when they went missing from Bucks Camp in Victoria’s Wonnangatta Valley in March 2020.

Greg Lynn is accused of killing the couple, whose remains were later found in bushland near the Union Spur Track, near Dargo.

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The 57-year-old man, who was a Jetstar captain at the time, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and is on trial at the Supreme Court in Melbourne.

Mr Hill and Mrs Clay were in a relationship for 14 years at the time of their deaths, the 73-year-old woman’s daughter Emma Davies told the jury on Wednesday.

“They’d known each other from childhood, Russell was mum’s first boyfriend,” she said.

“She said it was a very caring and loving relationship.”

Police contacted Ms Davies on March 29, 2020, about nine days after the alleged murders, to ask if she knew whether her mother was.

“I said I didn’t know,” she told the jury.

The police officer then asked for Ms Davies’ consent in sending out a missing person’s report to the media about her mother’s disappearance, the jury was told.

She said she had privacy concerns about that as Mr Hill was married to another woman.

“Russell was married and so I was concerned about the media release going out and showing them camping together,” she said.

Prosecutors have claimed Lynn intentionally killed the couple, and told the jury this would be proven beyond reasonable doubt due to his conduct after the alleged double murder.

But his barrister said the two deaths were accidental and that Lynn made “a series of terrible choices” after their deaths, including burning their bodies and campsite.

Defence barrister Dermot Dann KC on Tuesday said Lynn told police Mr Hill accidentally shot Mrs Clay in the head, and then came at him with a knife after an argument about hunting.

Lynn told police he was trying to defend himself from the knife when it went into Mr Hill’s chest, the barrister told the jury.

“I haven’t behaved well, I’ve made some poor decisions, but murder, as I understand it, I’m innocent of,” Mr Dann said Lynn told detectives.

However, prosecutor Daniel Porceddu put forward an alternative version of events.

He alleged it was Mr Hill who was killed first, and Mrs Clay’s death happened after she had “witnessed or been aware of Mr Hill’s violent death”.

He pointed to Lynn’s conduct after the alleged killings as evidence he committed murder, including not calling for help, contaminating the scene and concealing evidence.

Earlier on Wednesday, several campers who had met Mr Hill and Mrs Clay in the weeks before their deaths gave evidence.

Chris Benton, who met Mr Hill while he was camping alone at King Billy campsite on March 11, described a conversation with the 74-year-old about life after retirement.

“He did go on to say that retirement did ‘f*** him up’, he actually put his head down when he said that remark,” he told the jury.

The trial continues.

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