Cops have clashed at the Lawyer X commission over whether police informer Nicola Gobbo told them a suspect had confessed to killing Shane Chartres-Abbott.
Cops have clashed at the Lawyer X commission over whether police informer Nicola Gobbo told them a suspect had confessed to killing Shane Chartres-Abbott.

Detectives dispute vampire gigolo murder confession

Two veteran detectives have gone head to head in the witness box over allegations police doctored a statement to include a confession to the notorious vampire gigolo murder.

The clash is over whether snitching lawyer Nicola Gobbo told the men key murder suspect Mark Perry had confessed to the 2003 killing of Shane Chartres-Abbott - a self-proclaimed 200-year-old vampire.

Former homicide detective Ron Iddles on Thursday said he had "absolutely no recollection" of Ms Gobbo saying it and Perry's alleged admission simply "didn't make sense".

But his former colleague Steve Waddell said there was no doubt in his mind the claim was made by the barrister-turned-informer when the group met in Bali in 2009.

Ron Iddles. Picture: Jason Edwards
Ron Iddles. Picture: Jason Edwards

 

Robbert Richter, QC. Picture: Jason Edwards
Robbert Richter, QC. Picture: Jason Edwards

Meanwhile, Ms Gobbo, whose initial evidence to the Lawyer X royal commission sparked allegations of police corruption in the multimillion-dollar murder probe, this week admitted she may have said it, after previously having denied it.

Her suggestion Mr Waddell had added the confession without her knowledge was blasted after the discovery of a text message in which she claimed she was "instrumental" in the investigation targeting convicted drug dealer Perry.

Mr Waddell said he and Mr Iddles were "taken aback" when Ms Gobbo made the claim about Perry's confession in Bali, saying it was inconsistent with what she had previously told investigators.

The commission heard Ms Gobbo had earlier recounted a hearsay account to her police handlers and made no reference to ever hearing a face-to-face confession from Perry to organising the hit on Chartres-Abbott.

Mr Waddell became increasingly frustrated when quizzed if he could have added the confession to the statement later on, saying it was "impossible".

 

Police informer Nicola Gobbo. Picture: Ian Currie
Police informer Nicola Gobbo. Picture: Ian Currie

 

But in conflicting evidence, Mr Iddles said the alleged confession would have raised red flags for the detectives, as it came several months before the murder took place.

Mr Iddles said he had conducted his own inquiries since becoming aware of the emergence of the statement in the commission last year.

"Those inquiries supported my belief that it wasn't said … or wasn't in the original (statement), or no one knew of it," he said. Mr Waddell said he told investigators about the statement immediately after returning to Melbourne but said he had "serious concerns about credit issues".

Days later police decided there was "sufficient evidence" to prosecute Perry.

The statement was never presented to court and Perry was ultimately acquitted by a Supreme Court jury of the gangland murder in 2014.

The hearing continues.

genevieve.alison@news.com.au