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Man accused of ref's murder, supplying gun

AAP logoAAP 11/10/2016

A man has been committed to stand trial accused of murdering a Brisbane rugby league referee after allegedly supplying the rifle used to gun him down.

Craig Michael Morton is accused of selling and helping saw down a .22 rifle to associate Tyson Taylor so the latter could fatally shoot Tony McGrath in his Woolloongabba garage in May 2013.

Brisbane Deputy Chief Magistrate Terry Gardiner committed Morton to stand trial on one count of murder despite defence submissions the evidence was "completely silent" on whether he knew the alleged murder weapon would be used to kill Mr McGrath.

It came after Morton's former partner, Tammy Edwards, told the court he said to her he sold Taylor his father's .22 rifle for $1500.

She also recalled hearing power tools being used one night when Taylor visited, with crown prosecutor Toby Corsbie later submitting the gun was shortened to make it easier to use for a "nefarious purpose".

However, Ms Edwards told defence barrister Greg McGuire that Morton had told her Taylor wanted a gun for protection, given he was homeless and living in his car at the time.

The court also heard Morton had given brothel owner Susan Stewart a $10,000 loan to pay for a liquor licence, with Taylor making initial interest payments over a six-week period.

Magistrate Gardiner found a "reasonable inference" could be drawn that Morton supplied the gun for the purpose of Mr McGrath's homicide, rejecting a defence submission there was no case to answer.

Morton was remanded in custody to face trial at a date to be fixed.

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