Court hears body loaded into barrel, encased in concrete

A BRISBANE court has been told of the moment a 41-year-old man's body was loaded into a steel barrel before being encased in concrete and dumped into a waterway.

Anthony Charles Oliver, 38, of Caboolture is charged with the murder of his close friend Norman Desmond Cheney, 41.

Prosecutors allege Oliver shot Mr Cheney in the head and slit his throat before placing him in a 44-gallon drum in an attempt to hide the evidence.

On Wednesday, Oliver's brother-in-law Peter Harris recounted to Brisbane Supreme Court how Oliver came to his sprawling property near Esk on the night of December 20, 2011, with the body of Mr Cheney in the passenger seat of a car he had borrowed.

According to the testimony, Oliver told Mr Harris and his wife Jenny Oliver that he had little choice but to kill Mr Cheney after being threatened with a knife.

Mr Harris said Oliver parked the red Hyundai in their shed on the night of December 20, when Mr Cheney was last seen, then returned days later with an idea to put the body into a barrel.

Oliver allegedly told them Mr Cheney was involved with bikies who would now seek retribution over Mr Cheney's death.

Under questioning by the Crown, Mr Harris explained how he bought the cement then loaded Mr Cheney's remains into the steel drum.

"We went to Toogoolawah to get the bags of cement then come back," Mr Harris told the court.

"We opened the (shed) door and put the drum on its side beside the car.

"Opened the passenger side door, threw him inside the drum and stood the drum up so his feet went down inside the drum.

"He was completely inside the drum."

Once sealed, Mr Harris said the barrel was loaded on to the back of his ute.

The next day, Mr Harris said he, his wife and Oliver drove towards Caboolture before Oliver dropped them off on the side of an isolated road and drove away.

He returned soon after with no sign of the drum on the car, the court heard.

Both Mr Harris and his wife said they asked no questions.

The court heard it would be days before Mr Cheney's older brother Brett, who had been taking care of his sibling, would report his disappearance to police on December 27, 2010.

The barrel was not discovered until early February last year, more than a month later.

The trial continues.