The Bacchus Marsh man accused of murdering 46-year-old Keith Foggin was the victim’s mechanic for three-years prior to his disappearance, a court has heard.
Christopher John Trotter appeared in the Supreme Court of Victoria today (June 7), more than 20-months after Mr Foggin went missing in September 2015.
The victim was last seen at Trotter’s business, Maddingley Car Care, at about 10.30am on Thursday, September 24.
His body has still not been found.
Prosecutors allege the accused killed Mr Foggin after an altercation that occurred at his car workshop. Trotter has pleaded not guilty to the murder.
Crown Prosecutor, Daryl Brown said in 2012, Mr Foggin delivered a 1979 XD Ford station wagon to Maddingley Car Care, where he made plans to pay Trotter in instalments while the mechanic restored the vehicle over time.
In September 2015, he returned to the workshop to pick up the vehicle, which Trotter said was now located at a friend’s house in Jonathan Drive in Darley.
The court heard Mr Foggin had planned to drive to Queensland to live with his daughter.
A close family friend of the victim told the court that Mr Foggin had become increasingly “stressed” that Trotter was no longer in possession of the vehicle, which Mr Foggin had already invested thousands of dollars in.
Mr Brown said the prosecution believed a disagreement occurred between Mr Foggin and the accused after Trotter was forced to “come clean” that the car was no longer available.
He alleged that tension escalated between the two, resulting in the accused losing his temper, and killing Mr Foggin before disposing of his body.
Mr Brown noted that the evidence was “circumstantial” and asked the jury not to rely on one piece of evidence, but to consider it in combination.
Defence barrister, Neil Hutton said Trotter was not “in any way” involved in the death or disappearance of Mr Foggin, stating that, without a body, there was still the issue of whether the victim was actually dead.
The trial continues.