Stephen Armitage of Cooloola Cove in 2012.
Stephen Armitage of Cooloola Cove in 2012. Patrick Woods

Cooloola Cove man to represent self in esky murder case

A MAN accused of murder and torture will be representing himself in the case.

A Bundaberg witness said he saw a man fall out of an Esky at a Gympie property.

Cooloola Cove's Stephen John Armitage, 45, is charged with murder, deprivation of liberty and torture over the death of Gold Coast resident Shaun Matthew Barker.

His son Matthew Leslie Armitage, 22, and Highfields resident William Frances Dean, 37, are also charged over the death.

Yesterday in Brisbane Supreme Court, Stephen Armitage's defence withdrew representation.

Mr Armitage told the court he would represent himself when he contested the case at trial.

Justice David Boddice said while Mr Armitage was free to do so, self-representation was difficult, particularly in criminal cases, and Mr Armitage may want to reflect on whether it was in his best interests.

Mr Barker was last seen alive on December 10, 2013, in Broadbeach and his body was found in a forest near Tin Can Bay in April 2014.

The case will be reviewed on October 19, when it is likely it will be set for trial in March.