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WA man guilty of murder over a gun debt

AAP logoAAP 13/12/2016

A West Australian man has been found guilty of murdering, burning and burying a young father over a $3000 gun debt.

Aaron Raymond Craig, 45, had been on trial in the WA Supreme Court accused of murdering 25-year-old Bradley Hoddy and dumping his body in a pine forest in mid-2006.

Craig was found guilty by a jury on Tuesday.

Prosecutor Justin Whalley told the jury during the trial that Mr Hoddy was presumed missing for several years until 2014 when Craig's former partner told police what she knew about the crime.

He said two other men were also involved in the murder, which was over a dispute about the sale of a gun.

Mr Whalley said the victim was forced into the back of a van and tied up before being driven to the pine forest.

Mr Hoddy claimed to have bikie connections and threatened his abductors, saying bikies were going to string them up and it was at that point Craig realised Mr Hoddy had to die, the prosecutor said.

The victim was later begging for his life when he was struck on the back of the head, set on fire and buried.

Mr Whalley said Craig later moved on with his life, got married, had children and moved interstate.

He said Craig told his wife what had happened and after their marriage broke down, she saw a news report about Mr Hoddy and decided to tell police what she knew.

Mr Hoddy's body has never been found.

Justice Michael Corboy ordered a psychological report for Craig before a sentencing hearing on March 8.

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