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Vic: Underworld widow stares down accused killer in court

24 Nov 2008 1:56 PM

MELBOURNE, Nov 24 AAP - The widow of slain underworld figure Victor Peirce has faced off with her husband's alleged killer in court.

Vince Benvenuto has faced a committal hearing, charged with the murder of Peirce, who was shot dead in his car in Port Melbourne on May 1, 2002.

Police believe slain hitman Andrew Veniamin shot Peirce.

A police informer said Veniamin told him that Benvenuto had set up Peirce for him, the Melbourne Magistrates Court has been told.

Before the hearing began, widow Wendy Peirce stared down Benvenuto as he entered the dock, then abused him after he asked her how she was.

"You won't be good for much longer," she told him.

She also asked his legal team: "How can you represent that piece of shit?"

She later said the word "karma" and continued to stare down Benvenuto throughout the hearing while he crossed his arms and bit his lip.

At the end of the hearing, as Benvenuto was led from the dock, she said: "He's scared, he murdered my husband".

The informer said in a statement read in court that Benvenuto was buying drugs off Peirce at the time he organised to meet him in a car park on top ofa Coles store in Port Melbourne.

When Peirce did not show, Benvenuto arranged a second meeting and this was where Veniamin shot him, the informer said.

Detective Senior Sergeant Ron Iddles, who led the original murder investigation, said he did not find much evidence to support the informer's claims.

The hearing continues tomorrow.