Cory Breton’s and Iuliana Triscaru’s decomposing bodies were found in a large metal box at Scrubby Creek, south of Brisbane, on February 11, 2016.
Tuhirangi-Thomas Tahiata, 28, has pleaded not guilty to murdering the pair after they were lured to a townhouse in Kingston 18 days earlier and assaulted by a group of men.
But in a police interview played at his Brisbane Supreme Court trial on Thursday, Tahiata admitted he was at the creek when the toolbox was pushed into the water by a man named Trent Thrupp.
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He also told detectives he was happy police arrested him. “I’m actually really grateful I got pulled up. Really grateful,” he said.
Asked why, Tahiata said Thrupp and another man involved in the killings, Stou Daniels, had been talking about murdering another person.
Their target, he said, was Lelan Harrington, who had been at the house when Mr Breton and Ms Triscaru were assaulted but had then gone into hiding. “He was like shaking, sketchy, and they were like f**k, we should just chuck him in the box.
“I was like, c***, don’t f***in’ do that, that’s out mate,” Tahiata claimed he told the pair when they initially discussed it.
Tahiata said on the day he was arrested, the men had called him saying they had found Harrington.
“Call me a snitch, call me whatever … but I’m not f***in’ taking it for these c***s.
“I just wanna have my normal life back. That’s it, yeah. Just glad I told the truth and got it off my chest,” he said.
Earlier, Tahiata said he, Thrupp and another man returned to the creek days after dumping the toolbox because he spotted it floating from the Logan Motorway.
He said Thrupp swam out to the box and placed rocks on it until it sank. He also noted the green pond had turned brown.
“Most probably the decomposition … all the bacteria and stomach acids, everything,” he said.
“It smelt. I could smell it in my car.”
During the interview, Tahiata initially denied any involvement, claiming he was at a church service on the day the pair disappeared before suddenly confessing.
Prosecutor David Meredith has previously told the trial Tahiata changed his story after admitting the murders because “he didn’t want to take the blame for what others had done”.
The Crown case is that Tahiata’s ute was used to transport the toolbox with Mr Breton and Ms Triscaru still alive inside to the waterway.
Mr Meredith told the jury Tahiata helped load the box on his ute and then drove to the nearby creek with a man named Trent Thrupp.
Tahiata then allegedly helped carry the box to the shore as Mr Breton and Ms Triscaru screamed for help from inside.
Thrupp then pushed the toolbox into the water but it didn’t immediately sink, Mr Meredith said. He said Tahiata then handed Thrupp a hammer so he could punch holes into the side of the box.
The trial continues.