SEEKING ANSWERS: Father Arthur Edwards holding a photo of his late son Brad Arthur Edwards.
SEEKING ANSWERS: Father Arthur Edwards holding a photo of his late son Brad Arthur Edwards. Philippe Coquerand

Prime suspect named in Gympie road death inquest

THE man named as a prime police suspect in the hit-run death of Gympie cyclist Brad Edwards nearly 20 years ago, has told a Gympie inquest he does not recall most of that time of his life.

Bradley James Coupe told Deputy State Coroner John Lock he was 19 when Mr Edwards was killed, riding his bicycle in Corella Rd, Gympie, on the Saturday night of November 6, 1999.

Fidgeting almost constantly in the witness box, Mr Coupe said he had no knowledge of stealing a Holden Gemini, like the one police claim was involved in Mr Edwards' death.

"Was I charged for it?" he said. "If I wasn't charged for it, it wasn't me."

Told this was not a straight answer, he responded: "That's the only answer I've got for you."

Asked if he wiped down the interior of cars he had stolen to remove fingerprints, he said: "I was a car thief, what do you expect?"

Mr Lock then said the inquiry was moving into new territory, meaning Mr Coupe had a right to silence under laws applying at the time the inquest began.

"I'm not answering," Mr Coupe repeatedly said after that.

"I say I know nothing about it," he said in answer to another question.

"Oh f---, I don't know," he said later.

He agreed it was possible he had stolen the Gemini, but it was possible someone else had too.

"Can I go? I've had enough," he said soon afterwards.

"You can't go," Mr Lock told him. "We'll keep you here as long as we need to. Otherwise you'll be arrested."

"Won't be the first time," Mr Coupe said.

Another witness, Terry Ronan, said he had gone to Yandina to buy drugs and had been driven back to Gympie by a man he did not know who shocked him by saying he had killed Mr Edwards.

The inquiry has now been adjourned to a date to be fixed.