Woman who saw murdered drug dealers just before they were sealed in a toolbox gives testimony

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A woman heard her friend and another man screaming from inside a toolbox when she was at her drug dealer’s unit, a Brisbane court has heard. 

Ngatokoona Mareiti says she heard her friend screaming from inside a toolbox after finding her tied up with duct tape.

Mareiti gave evidence on Friday at the murder trial of Tuhirangi-Thomas Tahiata, 28, who is accused of killing the friend Iuliana Triscaru and Cory Breton.

The couple’s decomposing bodies were found inside the toolbox at a lagoon on Scrubby Creek, south of Brisbane, in February 2016.

Mareiti said she saw Ms Triscaru and Mr Breton the previous month on the couch in a Kingston unit when she went to buy drugs.

They had grey tape around their hands and ankles, she told the Brisbane Supreme Court.

She said Mr Breton looked like he had been hit in the mouth.

On her drug dealer’s instructions, Mareiti searched Ms Triscaru’s bra for drugs, finding a small amount of the drug ice.

Mareiti went to buy alcohol and cleaning products, also at the request of the dealer, returning to find the couple in a toolbox in the lounge, with a man standing or sitting on top.

Asked how she knew they were inside, Mareiti said: ‘They were screaming.’

The pair tried to escape when the toolbox was opened briefly, but Mareiti said garbage bags filled with towels were stuffed on top of the people in the box.

Mareiti pleaded guilty last year to manslaughter over the deaths of the couple.

She was given a lesser sentence of nine years’ jail in return for testifying in the trial.

Earlier the trial heard Mr Breton and Ms Triscaru were lured to the unit in Kingston and assaulted by a group of men after Mr Breton told a friend he had a photo of a fellow drug dealer on this phone.

Prosecutor David Meredith says this photo of Stou Daniels – who ordered the pair into the box – is central to the trial of Tahiata.

Tahiata has pleaded not guilty to both murders.

The trial continues on Monday.

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