Former detectives on trial
TWO Rockhampton police officers held a secret meeting with a prisoner informant during the murder investigation of Suzanne Standing, a court heard yesterday.
The District Court jury also heard the officers arranged to have prisoner Lee Henderson placed into the same block at Capricornia Correctional Centre as Scott Jobling, who had been charged with the murder.
“They did it to gather information against Jobling into the murder investigation, using Henderson as an informant,” Crown Prosecutor Michael Cowen said in his opening address.
The former head of Rockhampton's Criminal Investigation Branch, Graham John Richards, and his former colleague Paul Alexander Dalton have pleaded not guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice.
It's alleged they failed to reveal to other investigating officers a statement they took from Henderson during a visit to his jail cell in August 2005.
Mr Cowen told the jury that the officers concealed the content of a conversation and a statement made by Henderson about Jobling's involvement in the murder.
Mr Cowen said during the meeting Henderson was instructed to be active with Jobling in gathering information.
It wasn't until the defence solicitor for Jobling made inquiries at the start of a committal hearing that Dalton said “we went to prison”, Mr Cowen said.
Police initially believed a call received from Jobling on August 16 was spontaneous.
“They (Richards and Dalton) concealed the fact that they had a meeting, with the intention to pervert the course of justice,” Mr Cowen said.
Mr Cowen said during the committal, Dalton had stated he had the intention to withhold information to protect the use of Henderson as an informant.
The court heard Richards lied as to why he didn't make a note of the meeting and also lied about what happened at the discussion.
The trial is expected to continue until Friday or early next week.
Sixteen witnesses are expected to take the stand, including police, Crime and Misconduct Commission representatives, Capricornia Correctional Centre officers, and another prison inmate.