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Father shot dead in fight over DJ gear sold on Gumtree, court told

The Age logo The Age 5 days ago Adam Cooper

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A confrontation over DJ equipment sold on Gumtree led to a father-of five being shot dead when a man and his two sons stormed an Oakleigh East unit carrying a sawn-off shotgun, a court has heard.

Tony Panagiotou, 56, had admitted to police he shot Duane Hutchings with a sawn-off shotgun early on Saturday morning when he and others went to the Clayton Road unit to confront those he believed had robbed his 18-year-old son, Melbourne Magistrates Court heard on Monday.

Mr Hutchings, 44, died in hospital from a gunshot wound to the head. Mr Panagiotou and sons John, 18, and George, 22, separately appeared before the court, along with Jonathon Atalalis, 24.

Detective Senior Constable Megan Adams said the group went to the unit believing DJ equipment that belonged to John Panagiotou was at the property and had been advertised on sales website Gumtree.

John Panagiotou went to police in the days before the shooting to report that he had hired out equipment worth up to $30,000 but it had not been returned, Detective Senior Constable Adams said. He returned to police to report he later saw the equipment advertised on Gumtree.

a person with collar shirt: Duane Hutchings was killed on Saturday, February 9. © Supplied Duane Hutchings was killed on Saturday, February 9.

In the following days the teenager, his brother, father and other men went to the unit and confronted a woman who was housesitting. Mr Hutchings was at the unit visiting someone when the group entered.

The woman told police the men were armed with metal poles and batons, the court heard. Tony Panagiotou told police none of his co-accused knew he had the shotgun.

Tony Panagiotou is charged with murder and aggravated home invasion, while his sons and Mr Atalalis each face charges of aggravated home invasion, intentionally causing injury and assault with a weapon.

John Panagiotou was refused bail when the court heard an eyewitness told police she saw "six or seven" men enter the property. Police are yet to recover the shotgun.

a person sitting in a living room: Duane Hutchings with his five children. © Supplied Duane Hutchings with his five children. Police and prosecutors opposed John Panagiotou's bid for bail over concerns he would contact others involved if released, and because the charges were serious. Police needed more time to investigate the roles the men played, prosecutor Rutendo Muchinguri said.

But defence counsel Christopher Farrington said the young man should get bail because of his age, lack of criminal past, family support, and because he faced a potential delay of up to two years in jail awaiting trial.

Magistrate Constantinos Kilias refused bail after expressing concerns there might be more men at large.

"There may be two or three more co-accused out there and I don't know who's got that gun ... It's troubling me," the magistrate said.

Mr Panagiotou and his mother and sister, who sat through the hearings, all cried when the teenager was refused bail.

Mr Kilias told the teenager he might have cause to apply for bail again if police recovered the shotgun.

The woman who was at the unit could also be charged with deception offences, the court heard.

The Panagiotous, of Doncaster East, and Mr Atalalis, of Park Orchards, were remanded in custody to return to court in June. George Panagiotou is set to apply for bail next month.

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