Officers refused to reveal their methods, court hears

DESPITE being ordered to report a secret meeting with a convicted killer, two police officers refused to disclose its contents to protect police “methodology”, a court heard yesterday.

Former senior Rockhampton police officer Graham Richards and Brisbane-based police officer Paul Dalton allegedly met with Lee Owen Henderson at the Capricornia Correctional Centre and told him to “keep your ear to the ground”.

On this same day, August 15, 2005, the court heard Richards and Dalton had requested that accused murderer Scott Andrew Jobling, who was arriving at the prison on remand, be placed in the same secure jail unit as Henderson.

It was the very next day that Jobling allegedly confessed his guilt to his jail mate.

The court heard it wasn't the first time Henderson had been involved in police operations.

He was allegedly a registered informant and Detective Sergeant Walker said police had expressed concerns about his further “usefulness”.

The court heard Henderson's evidence was relied upon heavily in the Jobling's committal.

The court was told listening devices had been utilised and telephone conversations were intercepted to obtain evidence.

Richards, Dalton and Henderson have all been charged with perverting the course of justice.

A committal hearing in Rockhampton Magistrates Court continued yesterday with evidence from top-ranking current and former police officers.

The issue of alleged misconduct was first raised by police prosecutor Sergeant Calvin Gnech, who had been assigned to conduct the murder committal for Jobling and co-accused Beau Ernest Hinschen, in June 2006.

But the Crime and Misconduct Commission had already allegedly began Operation Capri in 2005 to investigate other “similar matters” of dishonest conduct with prisoners.

Sergeant Gnech, who was a constable at the time, yesterday said that during the lead-up to the committal, issues about disclosure became prevalent.

He said he asked for addendum statements to be provided, but Dalton raised concerns about their “methodology being exposed and did not want the matter disclosed”.

Richards is a former detective senior sergeant, who was the officer-in-charge of the city's Criminal Investigation Branch at the time.

He was suspended with pay in 2006, but has since quit the police service.

Henderson is currently serving a life sentence for murder and Jobling is accused of killing Rockhampton flower seller Susan Standing in 2005.

The committal will conclude today after evidence from four more witness, including a prisoner.

- Melinda Siegmeier

Telephone conversations were intercepted for evidence

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