POLICE search for missing Ulverstone man Noel Joseph Ingham in an isolated area outside Railton. Picture: HELEN KEMPTON
POLICE search for missing Ulverstone man Noel Joseph Ingham in an isolated area outside Railton. Picture: HELEN KEMPTON

Murder victim a generous 'loner'

THE victim of a grisly murder has been described as a big-drinking but generous loner who would take people in and boast about the superannuation funds he had at his disposal.

The Supreme Court in Burnie heard that just weeks before Noel Joseph Ingham was killed and decapitated he had begged his mate to move from Queensland to Tasmania to share his Ulverstone unit.

Brendan Broadwater said he had met Mr Ingham in rehabilitation and was best man at his wedding.

"We were drinking friends. He was a loner," Mr Broadwater told the jury.

"He talked about money all the time and told me he was accessing his superannuation at $10,000 a time.

"In June he asked me to move down, saying he had his own place and a room for me."

Mr Broadwater declined.

The man who moved in instead, Darren Ward Gale, is now standing trial after pleading not guilty to killing the 58-year-old.

Gale, who has been in custody since his arrest in December, 2016, has listened to the evidence without showing any visible trace of emotion.

The only family of Mr Ingham to be in the courtroom during the trial is his sister-in-law who flew from Queensland to give evidence on Wednesday.

Mr Ingham's headless body was found in a shallow grave on a bush track at Dulverton, near Railton, in November, 2016 - about five weeks after a missing person investigation was launched on the back of concerns raised by a housing authority.

His head has never been found.

Mr Ingham's car, with the skeletons of his two little dogs inside, was found about 1km away three weeks before.

The Crown is alleging Mr Ingham was murdered months before a cadaver dog found his body.

Neighbours today told the court they noticed in July of that year that Mr Ingham, his car, his boat and his dogs were no longer at the property.

The court heard Gale remained living in the unit and the garden Mr Ingham had meticulously maintained became overgrown.

The jury was told Mr Ingham had spent thousands of dollars on appliances and furniture to deck out his unit in the lead up to his death.

Peter Williams, from North Motton, said he had bought a boat from Gale in August.

"I asked for the rego papers and he said he did not have any," Mr Williams said.

"I found out it was registered to Noel Ingham and asked Mr Gale who that was. He said Noel was his mate and he had bought the boat from him."

Gale told Mr Williams he was selling the boat and other items because he was going to NSW. He asked Mr Williams if he also wanted to buy a television and fridge.

"When I went in to pay for the boat I saw a house with nothing in it," Mr Williams said.

The trial, before Justice Helen Wood continues.