STAN BRADDY winked and asked barristers to “prove it” as he faced questions over his involvement in the disappearance of his daughter Maureen and her boyfriend Allan Whyte yesterday.
Mr Braddy is suspected of murdering the two teenagers in 1968.
Giving evidence for the first time yesterday, Mr Braddy said he was confident the pair were still alive because a police officer told him there was “nothing to worry about”.
He said less than one month after Maureen’s disappearance, police officer Frank Baker called him to say “don’t worry, she’s in good hands”.
Mr Braddy, 82, told the inquest Maureen and Allan were abducted as part of a “slavery trade arrangement” and said the captor “wanted a son and wanted a slave”.
He said Bendigo police officer Frank Baker – now deceased – was aware of the slave trade, but he refused to reveal how he knew the details of the abduction.
He said he wanted to live a few years longer and was worried about “the big boys” finding out.
Deputy State Coroner Iain West interjected and asked whether he genuinely feared for his life.
“Yes,” he said.
“It’s real... I didn’t want it out in the open. I was worried about Frank Baker.”
Legal counsel acting for two of Maureen’s sisters, Mandy Fox, suggested Mr Braddy deliberately named a deceased police officer because his version of events could not be checked.
“Mr Braddy, you’ve made the whole thing up,” she said.
“It’s a ridiculous story, you know that, don’t you.”
Ms Fox asked if Mr Braddy was aware that he was the prime suspect for police in relation to the disappearance or murder of his daughter.
“Prove it,” he replied, as he winked at the bar table. “I have nothing to hide.”
Ending more than four hours of questioning, counsel assisting the inquest Sebastian Reid noted for the purpose of the transcript that Mr Braddy winked at him when he said there was nothing further he could add to the inquiry.
Detective Sergeant Allan Birch told the inquest on Monday that Mr Braddy’s claims were “wholly incredible”.
In varying versions of what had happened on the night of the disappearance on November 23, 1968, Mr Braddy first told police he had stayed home and went to bed, but later claimed he had driven his mother to Kamarooka, 40km north of Bendigo, and not returned until after midnight.
Mr Braddy told the inquest multiple times he was “adamant” that Maureen and Allan were still alive and said they lived in Nagambie and had two children.
Maureen Braddy’s younger sister Lyn Ireland said she saw her father and his friend Ted Beasley holding a bloodied body the night of the disappearance.
Neighbours told the inquest they heard gunshots coming from the Braddy family home that night.
A childhood friend of Maureen’s brother Robert, Brad Penno, said he recalled looking at a .22 calibre rifle that belonged to Stan Braddy.
Mr Braddy yesterday told the court he had never owned a gun. The claim was met with cries of disbelief from the public gallery.
The inquest continues.