Jurrah: No crime scene, no search for weapons, an ‘oversight’

By KIERAN FINNANE

 

There was no crime scene established nor search for weapons by police investigating the events of March 7, 2012 at Little Sisters town camp, the vents which have led to Liam Jurrah standing trial this week.

 

Officer in charge of the investigation, Senior Constable Sean Aila, was recalled to be cross-examined by Jon Tippet QC for Liam Jurrah this morning.

 

Following the cross-examination Chief Justice Trevor Riley asked further questions of Snr Const Aila. Why was there no search, he wanted to know. Const Aila said he took the job the next day and any evidence would have been gone by then. CJ Riley was not satisfied: when you’re talking about machetes and crowbars, wouldn’t you expect that there would have been some effort to find them, he asked.

Const Aila admitted that “would have been an oversight by my department”.

 

If weapons had been found and tested for blood and fingerprints, that would have helped establish who had what on the night, suggested the Chief Justice. Const Aila said that as no crime scene had been established on the night, it wasn’t done.

 

The weapons could have been thrown anywhere by departing people, said the Chief Justice. Const Aila said police had walked around House One and House 17 at Little Sisters camp but agreed there had been “no systematic search”.

 

The Chief Justice commented that a machete and a crowbar are both “distinctive”: “Anyway, it wasn’t done,” he said.

 

He seemed to be in agreement, at least in this regard, with Mr Tippett that the investigation was “very perfunctory”. Const Aila said he didn’t know how to reply to this.

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