Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Qld. Police officers Graham Richards and Paul Dalton on trial for trying to pervert course of justice

The trial of two senior Queensland police officers charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice will begin in Rockhampton today. The former boss of Rockhampton's Criminal Investigation Branch Graham Richards and his former colleague Paul Dalton, are accused of conducting a secretive meeting with a prisoner the day before his new cell mate confessed to a murder.

Detective Senior Sergeant Richards, now retired, and Detective Sergeant Dalton, who has been suspended without pay, are accused of meeting with prisoner Lee Owen Henderson at the Capricornia Correctional Centre near Rockhampton in 2005. The two officers were recorded signing in and out of the centre but did not follow the requirement to record the meeting in any diary, log book or running sheet.

The day after the meeting Henderson's new cell mate, Scott Jobling, who was moved to the same cell at the request of the officers, confessed to killing Rockhampton flower seller Suzanne Standing.

The two officers are due in the Rockhampton District Court today at the trial heard by Judge Tony Martin. A jury will be selected today and the trial could run into next week. The police officers are being supported by the Queensland Police Union and both officers will plead not guilty to the charges.

It was previously heard in the committal hearing that the officers' failure to record the meeting with the prisoner was a mere oversight. The two officers were named in the Crime and Misconduct Commission's Operation Capri last year which investigated alleged police misconduct.


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