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Accused "mastermind" behind fatal shooting out on bail

Johanna Maree Harper, 21, leaves the Ipswich Watchhouse on Thursday afternoon. Photo: The Queensland Times
Johanna Maree Harper, 21, leaves the Ipswich Watchhouse on Thursday afternoon. Photo: The Queensland Times Rob Williams

THE woman who police claim was the mastermind behind the Booval shooting has been released on bail.

Johanna Maree Harper, 21, made a successful bail application on Thursday in Ipswich Magistrates Court, where events leading up to the fatal shooting were revealed for the first time.

Her alleged co-offender, Joshua Leonard John Watson-Scully, 19, was not successful in his bid for for freedom on Thursday in the same court.

Ms Harper, Mr Watson-Scully and a third person, David Nanai, 26, were among a group who allegedly stormed the Stafford St address in the early hours of March 4.

Mr Nanai was shot and killed during the incident.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Rose Molinaro told the court police will allege Ms Harper was the main player in organising the home invasion.

She said heavily armed police surrounded Ms Harper's residence on March 10 where she was found hiding inside with her four-year-old daughter.

"Police will allege she drew out a house floor plan and nearby streets on a piece of paper which was identical to the scene," she said.

"She confirmed to Nanai's flatmate the next morning she was at the address in Stafford St."

Defence lawyer Peta Eyschen said the police case against Ms Harper was extremely weak.

She said the occupants of the house; Ben Caffrey, 27, and his partner Jasmine Ockhuysen, 26, told police they did not see a female during the incident.

"There is no question this is a very serious offence," she said.

"But the case against her is extremely weak.

"There is a distinct lack of evidence at this stage against my client."

Magistrate Deborah Vasta agreed the case against Ms Harper was weak and agreed there was not any evidence there was a female at the house at the time of the shooting.

Ms Harper was granted bail, albeit under a host of strict conditions.

Those conditions include her father post a $3000 surety, she live with him at his home at Wacol, she report to police seven day per week including public holidays and be subjected to a 8pm-6am curfew.

Ms Harper is also not allowed to have any contact, including via social media, with Mr Caffrey, Ms Ockhuysen or anyone from Nanai's family.

Earlier the court was told the police case against Mr Watson-Scully was significantly stronger.

Sgt Molinaro told the court, during his bail application, Mr Watson-Scully had strong links to New Zealand and there was a risk he could flee given the serious charges against him.

She said it was Mr Watson-Scully who picked up Nanai before driving to the address to steal drugs.

Defence lawyer Ali Rana told the court the offences Mr Watson-Scully had been charged with were shrouded in ambiguity.

He said he had strong family support and a group of relatives were in court supporting him.

"His friend (Nanai) has died violently . . . he was killed by a gunshot wound to his chest," he said.

"The home owner, Mr Caffrey, is the one who allegedly fired the fatal shot.

"He does not contest the fact he was present at the address, but he was not in the dwelling at the time of the shooting, he was in the yard and that is not contested."

Magistrate Deborah Vasta said Mr Watson-Scully posed too much of a flight risk, despite his young age and ties with the community, to be released on bail and refused the application.

Ms Harper's and Mr Watson-Scully's matters were adjourned until April 13.

Police told the Queensland Times the investigation into what occurred inside the house was ongoing.

Topics:  booval ipswich crime ipswich magistrates court shooting


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