– Former Victorian detective Paul Dale has been found not guilty on 12 counts of giving false or misleading evidence to the Australian Crime Commission.
A Supreme Court jury had deliberated since Wednesday after a four-week trial, which heard of Mr Dale’s links with slain underworld kingpin Carl Williams.
Mr Dale smiled at his wife Ditty as he walked from the dock. He sobbed as he hug his wife and his mother.
Mr Dale had pleaded not guilty to 12 charges of lying to the commission in examinations in March 2007 and November 2008 and to one charge of discussing the examination with another person.
The former Drug Squad detective was ordered to stand trial in November 2011.
He was alleged to have lied by staying that his only contact with the gangland figure was in a professional capacity twice in 2003, in addition to a chance meeting.
He was also accused of having an ongoing secret relationship with the underworld killer, which included Mr Dale disclosing confidential police information for cash.
The charges can partly be traced back to a burglary Dale allegedly planned with career criminal Terence Hodson and another policeman, Detective Senior Constable David Miechel.
The trio allegedly intended to steal millions of dollars worth of drugs from an East Oakleigh house. Miechel was caught in the act and all were charged over the burglary.
But, in 2004, the charges against Mr Dale were withdrawn after Hodson – who had become a prosecution witness – and his wife, Christine, were shot dead in their Kew home.
Mr Dale was then charged with Hodson’s execution murder, and Williams – who was murdered in jail in 2010 – later claimed in statements to police that Dale had paid him to organise the killing. Williams claimed that the gunman who killed the Hodsons was career criminal Rodney Collins.
The murder charges against Dale and Collins were withdrawn in June 2010 after Williams was bashed to death by fellow inmate Matthew Johnson.
Mr Dale told the crime commission examiners he had met Williams only twice, in 2003 as part of his bid to be a “top-notch detective” in the Major Drug Investigation Division.
He said: “The intention was to see whether we could get any information from Carl Williams, but it didn’t pan out that way so it didn’t go any further.”
Mr Dale had denied providing Williams with details of confidential police investigations or receiving money from him in return.
The Crown case partly relied on a recording secretly made by barrister Nicola Gobbo in 2008, in which Mr Dale allegedly admitted to a secret relationship with Williams.
In the recordings, part if which were played to the jury, Mr Dale is heard telling Ms Gobbo – described as his friend and confidante – that Williams had clearly made in-depth statements against him, based on the questions put to him by the crime commission.
Carl Williams’ father, George, testified that his son and Dale had met several times at various places in Melbourne, including a public pool at Keilor.
Defence barrister Geoffrey Steward told the jury Dale could have told the commission he was an al-Qaeda terrorist, involved in The Great Bookie Robbery or had played a part in Schapelle Corby’s drug trafficking without any legal repercussions.
“Paul Dale had no reason to lie,” Mr Steward said. “He was told he could not be prosecuted about anything he said unless he told lies.” – Dan Oakes & Adam Carey

About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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