Greg Lynn trial: Lacking campers’ decade-long affair thrust into highlight at double homicide trial

May 25, 2024by Naomi Cramer

For many of their 50-year lengthy marriage, Russell Hill’s spouse believed Carol Clay was his cousin, even occurring holidays along with their respective companions.

In actuality, they had been childhood sweethearts whose teenage romance had rekindled into an affair later in life.

This week, the trial of their alleged killer, former Jetstar captain Greg Lynn, heard surprising allegations about their relationship and the alleged lies informed to maintain it quiet, earlier than their disappearance turned their secret into entrance web page information.

Mr Hill and Mrs Clay vanished whereas on a tenting journey in Victoria’s distant Wonnangatta Valley in March 2020.

Prosecutors allege Mr Lynn killed the pair within the night of March 20, whereas the previous pilot argues their deaths had been unintentional and he made “horrible selections” to cowl them up.

Mr Lynn has pleaded not guilty to the couple’s murder. Supplied
Digicam IconMr Lynn has pleaded not responsible to the couple’s homicide. Provided Credit score: Provided

Russell Hill’s spouse Robyn informed the jury her husband appeared glad as he left house the morning of March 19, telling her he was going tenting alone and wasn’t positive for the way lengthy.

As a substitute he drove from their Drouin house to the Melbourne suburb of Pakenham, selecting Mrs Clay up for the journey.

The jury heard the Hills had first met in 1968 and tied the knot two years later.

Mrs Hill mentioned she’d met Ms Clay about the identical time, with Mr Hill describing her as his “first cousin”.

For many years she believed they had been associated, even occurring a number of holidays with Mrs Clay and her then-husband, Lynton, within the early 2000s however started to really feel one thing was “unusual” when the 2 would go off for walks alone.

Digicam IconRobyn Hill informed the jury she believed the affair had ended within the mid-2000s. NCA NewsWire / David Crosling Credit score: Information Corp Australia

The reality got here out, Mrs Hill mentioned, when a neighbour, Jill Robinson, gave her husband an ultimatum to inform her of the affair or she would.

The jury was informed Mr Hill got here clear and promised to finish it — Mrs Hill believed he had till the couple disappeared.

Senior Constable Amey Frost, who led the police investigation into the lacking couple within the weeks after, informed the jury she visited Mrs Clay’s house in early April to talk along with her family.

There, she mentioned, she found a “ripped-up” label for Mr Hill’s Viagra prescription in her lavatory bin.

Considered one of Mrs Clay’s daughters, Emma Davies, gave proof this week that her mom had been in a secret relationship with Mr Hill for about 14 years.

“They’d identified one another from childhood, Russell was my mom’s first boyfriend,” she mentioned.

“She mentioned it was a really caring, very loving relationship.”

Emma Davies (centre) said she was aware of their relationship. NCA Newswire / David Geraghty
Digicam IconEmma Davies (centre) mentioned she was conscious of their relationship. NCA Newswire / David Geraghty Credit score: Information Corp Australia

Ms Davies mentioned she was conscious Mr Hill’s household didn’t know concerning the relationship and the pair would typically go tenting collectively.

“She wouldn’t describe herself as a camper, however no, she appreciated it, she appreciated being outdoor,” she mentioned.

Louise Heib, a pal of Mrs Clay, informed the jury the pair’s relationship had ended once they had been youngsters as a result of “Carol began to get severe”.

“It devastated her,” she mentioned.

“I believe he was her past love, if I keep in mind accurately.”

She mentioned the pair had met once more a few years later and “it flared again up”, one thing she inspired Mrs Clay to pursue.

”I informed her; ‘everybody deserves love so simply go for it’,” Ms Heib mentioned.

“The children on either side of Carol and Russell knew concerning the relationship. I’m optimistic she informed me that.”

Ms Heib informed the jury Mrs Clay was divorced however she was informed Mr Hill didn’t wish to go away Robyn “as a result of she was not a properly woman”.

“I believe Carol preferred the state of affairs. I don’t suppose that apprehensive her. She was fairly unbiased,” she mentioned.

Mrs Clay was a stalwart of the Country Women’s Association. Supplied.
Digicam IconMrs Clay was a stalwart of the Nation Ladies’s Affiliation. Provided. Credit score: Provided
Mr Hill was a retired logger and avid outdoorsman. Supplied.
Digicam IconMr Hill was a retired logger and avid outdoorsman. Provided. Credit score: Provided

Two buddies of Mr Hill informed the court they had been conscious of the connection, however others mentioned it was a shock, describing Mr Hill as a “personal” particular person.

Rob Ashlin informed the jury he’d met Mrs Clay as soon as, with Mr Hill introducing her as a pal.

“Blind freddy might see how they checked out one another — there was a relationship or there was a bit extra occurring,” he mentioned.

Mr Ashlin later informed police Mrs Hill had confided in him that Mrs Clay had been “on the scene” for about twenty years after the couple had been reported lacking.

“It was one thing about Russell that I’d by no means ever considered,” he mentioned.

“You’re enthusiastic about a bloke round his 60s, 70s …what’s the go together with … one on the aspect. One’s sufficient hassle.”

One other pal, James Francis, mentioned he’d first been launched to Mrs Clay whereas tenting with the pair for about two weeks in 2019.

“I’ll be bringing a lady with me and he or she’s not my spouse, is that OK?,” he informed the jury Mr Hill had requested.

Prosecutors allege Mrs Clay and Mr Hill had been killed by the airline pilot “intentionally and with out lawful justification” after a confrontation, seemingly with Mr Hill over his drone.

The pair had arrange camp close to Mr Lynn at Bucks Camp within the Wonnangatta Valley the day prior, the jury heard.

The couple’s burnt campsite was discovered days after they disappeared on March 20, 2020. Supplied/ Supreme Court of Victoria.
Digicam IconThe couple’s burnt campsite was found days after they disappeared on March 20, 2020. Provided/ Supreme Court of Victoria. Credit score: Information Corp Australia

It’s alleged Mr Hill was killed first by unknown means, with Mrs Clay shot within the head quickly after as a witness to the primary slaying.

By means of his barrister, Mr Lynn has claimed Clay was unintentionally shot within the head as the 2 males wrestled over his gun.

Hill had earlier confronted Mr Lynn for deer searching too near camp and snatched his gun, defence barrister Dermott Dann KC informed the jury.

On his account, Mr Hill died after approaching Mr Lynn with a knife, falling on it unintentionally as they fought a second time.

The trial earlier than Justice Michael Croucher continues.

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by Naomi Cramer

Auckland Lawyer for FIRST TIME Offenders Seeking to Avoid a Conviction. Family Law Expert in Child Care Custody Disputes. If you are facing Court Naomi will make you feel comfortable every step of the way.  As a consummate professional your goals become hers, with customer service as our top priority. It has always been Naomi’s philosophy to approach whatever you do in life with bold enthusiasm and pure dedication. Complement this with her genuine passion for equal justice and rights for all and you have the formula for success. Naomi is a highly skilled Court lawyer having practised for more than 20 years. She serves the greater Auckland region and can travel to represent clients throughout NZ With extensive experience, an analytical eye for detail, and continuing legal education Naomi’s skill set will maximise your legal rights whilst offering a holistic approach that best fits your individual needs. This is further enhanced with her high level of support and understanding. Naomi will redefine what you expect from your legal professional, facilitating a seamless experience from start to finish.   Her approachable and adaptive demeanor serves her well when working with the diverse cultures that make up the Auckland region. Blend her open and honest approach to her transparent process and you can see why she routinely delivers the satisfying results her clients deserve. If you want to maximise your legal rights, we recommend you book an appointment with Naomi today so she can detail the steps for you to achieve your goals. 

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