McCulkin murder accused faces legal battle for assets
A WARWICK man charged with the cold case murder of the McCulkin women during the 70s is facing a looming legal battle to keep his assets after being charged with a host of drug offences.
Vincent O'Dempsey, 77, along with Keith Patrick McVeigh, 55, and Warren Peter McDonald, 44, were charged last November with drug charges including producing, trafficking and possessing dangerous drugs.
Police investigating the McCulkin murders uncovered the large-scale drug operation during a series of raids on properties across the Darling Downs late last year.
It is alleged the trio was behind a large scale marijuana plantation at Karara between 1996 and 1998 and another at Emu Vale from 2003 until 2014.
Mr O'Dempsey also allegedly stored marijuana and cash in a buried shipping container during a search of a Massie property.
A fourth man, Thomas Edward Martin, 66, who is an associate of Mr O'Dempsey, also was charged as a result of last year's large scale drug haul
Documents lodged in the Brisbane Supreme Court have revealed the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission began the process to restrain Mr O'Dempsey's assets shortly after his arrest.
The CCC claims, in court documents lodged on December 19 last year, Mr O'Dempsey obtained two properties at Womina using crime proceeds from his alleged drug trafficking.
Under changes to Queensland law, introduced last year, the CCC can instigate confiscation proceedings against a person even if they have not been found guilty of an offence.
The crime watchdog alleges Mr O'Dempsey still had control over the properties despite having transferred them into the names of his daughters, Sharon Margaret Mary Kelly (nee Wells) and Kelly Dianne Jimeena Pritchard four years ago.
Title transfer papers contained in the court documents, which APN Newsdesk has obtained, revealed Mr O'Dempsey gave the Womina-Willowvale Rd and Frees Rd properties to his daughters as gifts through a newly-established family trust.
Both Mrs Kelly and Mrs Pritchard have filed papers indicating they would be contest the matter.
Justice John Byrne, at a directions hearing on January 28, granted the CCC's restraining order which effectively allowed confiscation proceedings to commence.
He further ordered Mr O'Dempsey to provide a sworn statement ahead of the next court date of all property he had exceeding $5000 and a statement of all his interests in properties exceeding $5000 over the past six years.
Subsequently the CCC filed an application on February 2 to have both properties seized and forfeited to the state.
Justice Byrne scheduled the confiscation hearing for March 4, but the full process could take several months.
- APN NEWSDESK