Thursday September 19 2013
– A former drug squad detective once accused of killing police informer Terence Hodson says he is not interested in giving evidence at an inquest.
Paul Dale spent seven months in jail after being charged with ordering the killing of Mr Hodson before the case against him was dropped following the murder of gangland boss Carl Williams.
State Coroner Ian Gray will on November 25th rule on whether he holds an inquest into the deaths of Mr Hodson and wife Christine, who were shot in their Kew home on May 16, 2004, after Mr Hodson turned police corruption informer.
The Coroners Court was told on Wednesday the Hodsons’ three children and Victoria Police wanted an inquest held.
Mr Dale said he would seek legal advice if called as a witness, but had “lost faith” in the justice system after 12 separate inquiries.
“The police have never been interested in the truth and when I have told my version of events it has never been listened to,” he told Fairfax Media.
Hitman Rodney Collins was charged with killing both Mr and Mrs Hodson, but the charges against he and Mr Dale were withdrawn after Williams – who had implicated both men – was bashed to death in prison in April 2010. Collins is serving life for another double murder.
No one is in jail for killing the Hodsons and Mr Dale doubted an inquest could solve a crime the police couldn’t over almost a decade.
But the Hodsons’ daughter, Mandy Hodson and Nicola Komiazyk, have vowed to continue fighting for justice.
They welcomed police support for an inquest, but accused the force of using stalling tactics and feared key evidence and witnesses would be withheld.
“How much longer do we have to wait? This was a double homicide. Police corruption involved, police involvement. All they keep doing is putting it off,” Ms Hodson said.
Judge Gray must also decide whether to hold a separate inquest into the death of Williams, who was bashed with the seat of an exercise bike by fellow inmate Matthew Johnson inside Barwon Prison’s Acacia Unit. Johnson is serving a 32-year sentence.
Williams’ former wife, Roberta, and his father, George, want another probe given concerns over the poor monitoring of the unit by prison staff, and the decision to put Williams in a unit with a violent offender who loathed informers.
Judge Gray reserved his decision on a possible Williams inquest.
– Adam Cooper