Violent Attacks During Hot Springs Murder
A 19 year old raised as a Nazi skinhead and charged with the murder of a man at the hot springs
last year told Katherine Court this week how he choked, stabbed and drowned his victim.
Christopher Grant Thomson of Melbourne, was committed to trial in Darwin's Supreme Court
of murder, deprivation of liberty and stealing along with
Shane Baker, 23, also of Melbourne.
Both men appeard handcuffed before the court because Police feared they would try to escape.
Revealing evidence was tendered to the court including 67 hours of police audio and video tape
evidence that included frank admissions by both Thomson and Baker.
The tapes were compiled by Katherine detectives.
The court heard that both men arrived seperately in Katherine last year but had been friends
Meeting unintentionally at the BP Road house, they decided to have a few beers at the Crossways
Hotel and later they bought a carton of VB from Woolworths bottle shop and a cask of moselle
to drink at the Hot Springs.
Thomson and Baker were already at the Hot Springs with Baker's friend, who was staying with Baker
at the St Vincent De Paul hostel, before victim, Kees Ferry Brown, arrived.
Brown, 22, from Melbourne, had been stating at the Riverview Caravan when he decided to
take a swim.
Thomson and Baker said Brown was given a couple of beers and a conversation took place
but the incident soon turned nasty when Thomson began to give Brown a hard time.
Baker allegedly found Brown's wallet on the embankment and threw it to Thomson who was in
the water with Brown.
Baker said he stole $5 from the wallet and Thomson threatened Brown asking him to reveal
the pin number of a key card found in the wallet.
Brown allegedly said he only had 45 in his account but Thomson siad he continued, and threatened
to kill him if he didn't reveal the numbers.
Crown Prosecutor, John Lawrence, alleged Brown was punched in the face and had mud thrown at him
before the pair discussed whether they should 'neck' (kill) Brown in case he 'dobbed' to police.
You better listen to him or he'll do it, Shane said in a police interview.
When asked if he could leave, Brown was allegedly told he was a hostage.
Brown was dragged downstream about 200 metres where Thomson allegedly made Brown perform oral
sex on him as he hit him on the head with an empty bottle.
"He grabbed him and hit him over the head tomake sure he'd do it," Baker said.
Thomson later denied baker's sex allegations in a taped interview played to the court.
The court heard Thomson hit Brown on the head three times in an effort to knock him out so he would
be easier to drown.
Afterwards, Baker said he held Brown's body down in the knee deep water while Thomson choked him.
The struggle only ended when Brown stopped moving and turned purple.
Further allegations reveal Brown was hit in the head again with the empty bottle
and stabbed in the back to make sure he was dead.
It was also alleged Thomson bit Brown on the chest during the struggle, but when asked to
comment on a wound to Brown's testicles Thomson refused to comment.
Thomson said he held Brown's head under water for about three minutes because he knew
he'd run out of air.
The court heard how Thomson regularly practiced holding his breath under water and had seen
this method of killing used on television.
"It was just the way I saw it on television, so I thought I'd do it," Thomson said.
When asked about his thoughts at the time he said: "I can't stop now, I
just have to go all the way."
Baker allegedly suggested burying Brown but it was eventually decided to dump his body
further downstream and to try to conceal it with reeds and branches.
Baker's freind was apparently told about the killing and left the scene crying.
Later Thomson allegedly returned to the Hot Springs and moved the body to make sure it
was better hidden.
Katherine Times (13-3-1991)