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Triple murder accused granted bail

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

A former prison guard who allegedly murdered three friends on an outback motorcycle adventure 40 years ago will be released on bail.

A former prison guard who allegedly murdered three friends on an outback motorcycle adventure 40 years ago will be released on bail.

Bruce John Preston, 64, is accused of the 1978 murders of Karen Edwards, 23, Timothy Thomson, 31, and Gordon Twaddle, 21, near Mount Isa in North Queensland.

Less than a month after the three friends started a cross-country motorcycle adventure, their bodies were found in scrub near Spear Creek, 12km north of the outback mining town.

Preston, who maintains he is innocent, was charged in April 2019.

The retired senior prison officer at NSW's Goulburn Supermax jail had been co-operating with investigators working on the historical case, which is reliant on circumstantial evidence.

He was denied bail in June for fear he would take his own life after saying he would rather blow his head off than go to jail.

Ms Edwards, Mr Thomson and Mr Twaddle planned to ride from Alice Springs in the Northern Territory to Cairns and then Melbourne, to spend Christmas with family members.

They were last seen on October 5 jumping into a two-tone Toyota Landcruiser at the Moondarra Caravan Park, in Mount Isa, similar to one Preston's father allegedly owned at the time.

Their bodies were found 19 days later. All three died from gunshot wounds.

The court previously heard that a man matching Preston's description was seen with the victims the night before they disappeared.

He was later found in possession of Mr Thomson's near-new red and gold BMW motorcycle, which had a sidecar with a map of Australia painted on it.

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He told detectives he had found the bike and was charged with theft.

Preston also told investigators in 1978 he was not in Mt Isa the day the trio were murdered.

But in an interview before his arrest in April, he contradicted this and said he was in Mt Isa when the trio disappeared.

He was granted bail in the Brisbane Supreme Court on Friday and is expected to return to his home in Goulburn, NSW, after surrendering his passport.

Lifeline 13 11 14

© AAP 2020

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/queensland-triple-murder-outback-motorcycle-trip-accused-granted-bail/73a93ac0-bd0a-4154-9ff5-cfde267da92a

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