A 43-year-old former amateur bodybuilder from Tasmania has been found guilty of murder over the 2017 death of a man he was torturing over an alleged stolen car.

Mark Rodney Jones was found guilty of murder in the Launceston Supreme Court today over the death of 22-year-old Bradley Wade Breward on New Year’s Day 2017.

The court heard that in early December 2016, a Nissan Patrol belonging to Jones had been stolen from the side of a road in outer Launceston. Jones subsequently became “obsessed” with tracking the vehicle down, and eventually heard from multiple people that Breward was responsible for the theft.

Jones then spent weeks reportedly tracking Breward down, even to the point of messaging a friend days before attacking him, stating “I’m on the trail of Brad Breward. C*nt’s gonna pay, he’s gonna die and be brought back to life many times over.

In the early hours of New Year’s Day 2017, the girlfriend of a friend of Breward’s is said to have revealed his location to Jones’ in exchange for a payment of $1,000.

Jones, along with 28-year-old Ricky John Izard – an employee of Jones’ -, then entered the apartment where Breward was staying, armed with a screwdriver and tape. The pair woke Breward, who was asleep on a couch, bound his hands with tape, and began assaulting him.

The court heard Jones then began torturing Breward, first by waterboarding him – placing a towel over his face and pouring water over it -, then by suffocating him with a plastic bag. During this process, Jones repeatedly attempted to extract information from Breward about his stolen car. Information that Breward did not give up.

While suffocating Breward, the 22-year-old subsequently died. Jones, along with Izard, then attempted to cover up the crime by dumping Breward’s weighted body in Lake Eugenana – around an hour and a half north-west of Launceston. They then burned Breward’s clothes, along with the raft they used to dump his body, in a 44 gallon drum.

Defence lawyers representing Jones argued that he should not be convicted of murder, on the grounds that the death was a “tragic accident,” and that Jones’ motive “was to get his car back.”

Stop and ask yourself, why on earth would you choose to, or why on earth would you intend to kill the one person on earth who knew where your vehicle was?

This was a tragedy for the young man who died. This was a tragedy for Mark Jones and his family who will be scarred for the rest of their lives. It was an accident.

It was someone who did something out of desperation, it was not murder.

A jury took just two hours to unanimously return a guilty murder verdict for Jones. Izard had previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter, aggravated burglary, and perverting the course of justice.

Sentencing submissions for Jones will be heard by the court from next week.

Source: ABC News
Image: Rxmuscle