Operation Gloucester

IBAC held public examinations from 4 February to 1 March 2019 into alleged serious misconduct involving Victoria Police officers in relation to certain aspects of the investigation into the murders of Sergeant Gary Silk and Senior Constable Rodney Miller.

In November 2017, IBAC commenced an inquiry into police conduct in the Victoria Police investigation of the murders of Sergeant Gary Silk and Senior Constable Rodney Miller in 1998, following the receipt of new information. The investigation, known as Operation Gloucester progressed to public examinations.

The hearings were open to the public.

Public examinations

The examinations focused on:

  • the Lorimer task force investigation of the murders of Sergeant Gary Silk and Senior Constable Rodney Miller, concerning:
    1. the taking of witness statements
    2. the preparation of the brief of evidence for the trial of Bandali Debs and Jason Roberts (the trial)
    3. whether there was full disclosure of witness statements or other relevant information prior to or during the trial
  • witness statement taking practices by Victoria Police
  • compliance with the obligation to disclose evidence by Victoria Police.

IBAC Commissioner, The Honourable Robert Redlich QC presided at the examinations. Counsel assisting was Mr Jack Rush QC with Ms Catherine Boston of the Victorian Bar.

Update: IBAC's Operation Gloucester public hearings conclude and identify significant issues with police practices

Anyone with information relevant to the investigation is encouraged to report it at www.ibac.vic.gov.au/report or phone 1300 735 135.

Overview of improper statement-taking practices identified

Improper statement-taking practices by Victoria Police identified during the hearings:

  1. Omitting a witness’ description of an offender.
  2. Omitting information which is contradicted by other evidence or is
    otherwise perceived by police to be unreliable.
  3. Speaking to witnesses to ‘fix up inconsistencies’ in the evidence,
    and not disclosing that intervention.
  4. Taking a replacement statement instead of a supplementary one.
  5. Signing a back-dated statement.
  6. Signing an acknowledgement in the absence of the statement
    maker.
  7. Making supposed ‘contemporaneous’ notes well after the fact.
  8. Failing to disclose information which may assist the defence.

For more detail, see the Operation Gloucester closing submissions by Counsel Assisting.

Witnesses

Day 1, 4 February 2019

  • Ronald William Iddles
  • Peter John Abbey
  • Bruce Ian McKenzie

Day 2, 5 February 2019

  • Charlie Bezzina
  • Glenn Andrew Pullin

Day 3, 6 February 2019

    • Francis Leo Adams
    • Helen Marie Poke

    Day 4, 7 February 2019

    • Marita Altman
    • Ian Hill QC
    • Matthew Stewart Anderson
    • Grant Douglas Langmaid

    Day 5, 11 February 2019

    • Graham Kenneth Riley
    • Christopher Robert Grigg
    • David Sperry Pratt
    • Neville Craig Peterson

    Day 6, 12 February 2019

    • Guiseppe D’Alo
    • Mark Charles Kennedy
    • Stephen Charles Beanland
    • Paul Raymond Murnane

    Day 7, 13 February 2019

    • Mark Andrew Butterworth
    • Julia Claire Doyle
    • Scott Geoffrey Leach

    Day 8, 14 February 2019

    • Kim Michelle Voulanas
    • Jeremy Rapke QC

    Day 9, 20 February 2019

    • Rosemary Elizabeth Eden
    • Allan John Birch
    • Paul James Edwards

    Day 10, 21 February 2019

    • Graeme Collins

    Day 11, 22 February 2019

    • George Patrick Buchhorn

    Day 12, 25 February 2019

    • George Patrick Buchhorn (continuing)
    • Paul Anthony Sheridan

    Day 13, 26 February 2019

    • Paul Anthony Sheridan (continuing)
    • Graeme Collins (continuing)
    • Ian Michael Dunn
    • Janine Valerie Gleeson

    Day 14, 27 February 2019

    • Kevin Casey
    • Trevor Rowe

    Looking after the welfare of people at IBAC public hearings

    IBAC recognises public hearings can place people under pressure. Supporting the welfare of people who will be attending public hearings to be examined is a responsibility IBAC takes seriously.

    For these public hearings we are providing witnesses with access to counselling services from the time their summons are served. While the hearings are in session, a professional counsellor and a private room will be available. Witnesses will also be able to bring a support person with them to the hearings.

    At the conclusion of the hearings, witnesses can also access up to four counselling sessions should they need further support.

    Anyone summonsed to appear at the Operation Gloucester public hearings has been sent information from IBAC advising them of these welfare arrangements.

    An IBAC witness welfare officer will be attending the hearings to help witnesses access the professional support services.

    Media

    Media guidelines: Operation Gloucester public examinations

    Media releases

    Media contact: 0427 480 840 or media@ibac.vic.gov.au

    Receiving exhibits
    To receive exhibits shown during the Operation Gloucester public examinations, journalists must sign a declaration relating to the use and publication/broadcast of that material. Please complete an exhibit request form and return it to media@ibac.vic.gov.au.

    Suppression order
    A suppression order for IBAC’s Operation Gloucester public examinations was made on 1 February 2019.

    IBAC's Commissioner may make additional suppression or other orders at any time. Media are advised to check for these, which will be made at the examinations. Contact 0427 480 840 or media@ibac.vic.gov.au if you require clarification.