Suspected death of NT man and dog Kellie from Larrimah referred to DPP
Posted On April 7, 2022
The Northern Territory coroner has referred the suspected death of Patrick Moriarty to the Director of Public Prosecutions, saying “he likely died in the context of the ongoing feud with his nearest neighbours”.
It took coroner Greg Cavanagh just a couple of hours to hand down his findings in a case that has intrigued Australia.
Mr Moriarty, known as “Paddy”, was a larrikin from the tiny outback town of Larrimah, 400 kilometres south of Darwin.
The 70-year-old and his dog Kellie were last seen leaving the Pink Panther pub on December 16, 2017.
The town is small, with a population of about a dozen, but two locals who caught the eye of investigators were his neighbour Fran Hodgetts and her gardener Owen Laurie.
Ms Hodgetts and Mr Moriarty had a long-running dispute.
He told visitors to the town her pies were so bad his dog wouldn’t eat them.
She told police he had poisoned her plants.
Both Ms Hodgetts and Mr Laurie have denied any involvement in Mr Moriarty’s disappearance.
In a sensational development yesterday, the inquest was played secret police recordings taken inside Mr Laurie’s house.
“I killerated old Paddy … f—— killerated him,” it is alleged Mr Laurie can be heard saying.
“I struck him on the f—— head and killerated him.
“Smacked him on the f—— nostrils with a claw hammer.”
After the inquest findings were handed down, Northern Territory Police said it will keep the case into Mr Moriarty’s disappearance open.
“This is a once-in-a-generation case. Paddy and his dog Kellie literally disappeared,” a statement said.