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Detective ‘fed answer’ to officer who fired fatal shot: inquiry


December 10, 2018 by admin

The senior homicide detective who headed the investigation into the police shooting of mentally disturbed Sydney man Adam Salter has admitted that he asked a series of leading questions during a crucial interview with the officer who fired the fatal shot.

Detective Inspector Russell Oxford exonerated all officers involved in the 2009 shooting of Mr Salter, 36, finding that one of them had been under threat from the victim.

The Deputy NSW Coroner later rejected these findings and described aspects of the investigation a “failure” and a “disgrace”.

During the Police Integrity Commission hearing into the matter today, the commission was played a recorded “walk-through” interview, which Inspector Oxford conducted with the shooter, Sergeant Sheree Bissett, to re-enact what occurred.

Inspector Oxford is seen to ask a series of leading questions on crucial aspects of the incident, including why Sergeant Bissett called “Taser, Taser, Taser” before pulling her Glock pistol and firing the fatal shot.

“Even though you yelled ‘Taser, Taser, Taser’, there was no mistake that you were grabbing your pistol … You had decided that the pistol was the best option,” he said.

After playing part of this interview to Inspector Oxford, counsel assisting the commission, Geoffrey Watson, SC, asked him: “Who was giving that evidence, you or the interviewee?”

Inspector Oxford replied: “That would be me.”

When questioned further, Inspector Oxford conceded that he “asked some leading questions a bit more than I should have”.

Mr Watson said: “You saw the purpose of that interview as conforming to an idea you already formed – that the police were not guilty of any culpable act.”

“No,” Inspector Oxford replied.

The hearing continues

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