Police searching at the Recovery Centre at Ulverstone during the investigation into the disappearance of Noel Ingham. Picture: CHRIS KIDD
Police searching at the Recovery Centre at Ulverstone during the investigation into the disappearance of Noel Ingham. Picture: CHRIS KIDD

Victim spoke of regret before death, court hears

A MAN whose headless body was found near Railton in 2016 had spoken of his regret at renting a room to the man accused of killing him, a jury has heard.

Witness Stephanie Sharp told the Supreme Court in Burnie she had spoken to alleged murder victim Noel Joseph Ingham on a regular basis when her son Bailey was living at his West Ulverstone property.

After Bailey moved out Mr Ingham had told her he had someone else ready to move in.

"Two or three weeks later I rang Noel to get information on Bailey's welfare. Noel said he thought he had made a mistake renting a room to his mate Darren," Ms Sharp said.

Darren Wade Gale is standing trial charged with the murder of Mr Ingham. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Crown alleges the murder took place in late July, 2016.

Mr Ingham's car and the skeletons of his two dogs were found in a remote area near Railton on November 2 that year.

A few weeks later his body was found buried about 1km away from his vehicle.

Mr Ingham's head has never been found.

One of the last people thought to have seen Mr Ingham alive, Dr Elvis Igbinovia, told the jury Mr Ingham had an appointment with him on July 22, 2016.

CCTV footage from the Patrick St Clinic in Ulverstone shows Mr Ingham was in the company of Mr Gale that day.

The GP told the court Mr Ingham had wanted him to fill out a disability claim form so he could access his superannuation account.

"He looked well, a bit dishevelled and his speech was logical and coherent," Dr Igbinovia said.

Mr Ingham failed to attend his follow-up appointment in August and a missing person investigation began in October.

Mr Gale was arrested and charged with murder in December, 2016.

The trial, before Justice Helen Wood, will continue on Monday.