‘Kill’ threats made against Paddy, inquest told

Bobby and Carl Roth, with Bill Hodgetts (far right) from Larrimah outside the Katherine Courthouse today. Picture: Roxanne Fitzgerald.
Bobby and Carl Roth, with Bill Hodgetts (far right) from Larrimah outside the Katherine Courthouse today. Picture: Roxanne Fitzgerald.

There was a long-running dispute between Larrimah neighbours which included death threats, an inquest in Katherine has heard today.

“She used to say she would kill Paddy,” a Larrimah local said of the bitter feud.

National and international attention turned to Katherine today to attempt to unravel the mysterious disappearance of Paddy Moriarty.

Many residents of the much dissected and small Stuart Highway town of Larrimah, travelled the two hours to Katherine today.

Despite the absence of a body, an inquest began today before Judge Greg Cavanagh in Katherine Local Court.

Katherine will hopefully be the key to unlocking the mystery of the disappearance of Paddy and his dog Kellie.

Mr Moriarty was last seen at the Larrimah Hotel at 6pm on Saturday, December 16.

Despite the best efforts of police and volunteers with an extensive search of the town and surrounds, nothing has been seen of him since.

Katherine volunteers have searched the tiny town’s tip, police divers have checked the town dam – nothing.

Colourful Larrimah baker Fran Hodgett is represented at the inquest by Darwin barrister Tamzin Lee.

At one stage Ms Lee attempted to cross-examine of the witnesses but was refused permission to do so by Mr Cavanagh.

Mrs Hodgett is said to have threatened to kill Mr Moriarty.

Bobby (Roberta) Roth said Mr Moriarty had a long-running dispute with Mrs Hodgett.

“She was always accusing him of stealing things,” she said.

“She used to say she would kill him,” she said.

But husband Carl Roth said he had also heard the threats.

Where are you Paddy and has someone done you in?

Where are you Paddy and has someone done you in?

“I don’t think there was any plan behind Fran’s threats,” he said.

Mr Roth said he had ordered and installed CCTV cameras for Mrs Hodgett who had claimed Mr Moriarty was stealing from her.

In opening the inquest, counsel assisting the Coroner, Kelvin Currie, said while no sign of Mr Moriarty has even been found, it was “likely someone in Larrimah has evidence that may be helpful in establishing what happened to Paddy”.

Mr Moriarty is described as Caucasian, 70 years of age, medium build with tanned appearance, around 178cm tall with short black/grey hair and a moustache.

He was wearing dark-coloured shorts, singlet, thongs and a baseball style cap.

Police have asked anyone who was in or travelled through Larrimah on December 16, 2017 and who hasn’t yet spoken to police to please contact them on 131 444 or call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.”

The inquest is continuing this afternoon and is expected to continue in Katherine tomorrow.

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