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Eerie way camper’s relative killed: court

Written by on May 22, 2024

Sixteen years before Russell Hill was allegedly murdered while camping in remote bushland, his relative was “tragically killed” just a short distance away, a jury has been told.

Gregory Stuart Lynn, 57, is facing trial after pleading not guilty to the murders of Mr Hill and Carol Clay in March 2020, arguing the pair instead died in a tragic accident “not of his choosing”.

The elderly couple, childhood sweethearts who had rekindled an affair later in life, were on a camping trip in Victoria’s High Country when they were allegedly killed, likely following an argument over Mr Hill’s drone in the evening of March 20.

On Tuesday, Mr Hill’s wife, Robyn was called to give evidence in the Supreme Court, telling the jury her husband had confessed he was having an affair with Mrs Clay in the mid-2000s after their neighbour had issued an ultimatum.

The jury was told Mr Hill had come clean and “given a commitment” to end it — Mrs Hill was unaware they had continued camping together until after the pair were reported missing.

Under questioning from Mr Lynn’s barrister, Dermot Dann KC, Mrs Hill confirmed a relative of her husband, Gary Hill, had been accidentally shot dead by his nephew “very close” to where Russell vanished almost 16 years later.

The court was told the nephew, Joseph Norris, had shot Gary thinking he was a deer while hunting in the Wonnangatta Valley — the incident was later found to be an accident.

A plaque at the site reads; “This is Hilly’s Camp. In memory of Gary Hill tragically shot September 1994. Not every stag under a rub tree is a deer”.

Mrs Hill confirmed she had visited the plaque with her husband shortly before his death, but “can’t remember” exactly when.

In his opening remarks, Mr Dann asked the jury to find his client had given police a “completely truthful” account of the couple’s death after his arrest in November 2021.

On his account, Mr Hill had accused Mr Lynn of deer hunting too close to camp before swiping his gun in the evening of March 20.

As the two men wrestled over the gun, it accidentally fired, striking Mrs Clay in the head and killing her.

Mr Hill then died after coming after Mr Lynn with a knife screaming; “she’s dead”, and falling on the knife as the two men fought, Mr Dann argued.
The trial will resume on Wednesday.