‘Despicable’ delays plague Tyrrell cop’s recording case
High-profile former detective Gary Jubelin's court case could be heard behind closed doors with a bid to have key details suppressed.
The retired homicide detective fronted court today charged with four counts of illegally recording conversations on his phone.
The 57-year-old is accused of breaching the Surveillance Devices Act for recording conversations with a suspect without his knowledge.
Jubelin has pleaded not guilty.
The allegations date back to his time running the investigation into the suspected abduction of three-year-old William Tyrrell on the Mid North Coast in 2014.
He was sidelined from the case early last year and then resigned in May after 34 years in the police force.
He was charged a month later with recording four conversations, one on the phone from Parramatta and three in Kendall, the small town where Tyrrell disappeared.
On what was meant to be day one of his hearing, friends, victims' families and police packed into the public gallery at the Downing Centre Local Court this morning.
But they might not get to hear exactly what Jubelin did and his reasons for it with NSW Police flagging an application for suppression orders that would likely have everyone - except lawyers and Jubelin himself - barred from the courtroom.
The court heard there were already orders made in the NSW Coroner's Court, where an inquest into William's disappearance is underway, that would affect evidence aired in Jubelin's case.
The absence of suppressions orders in his case, the NSW Police Commissioner's barrister Robin Bhalla said, could undermine the coroner's court rulings.
The orders were also in the "public interest" in achieving a successful outcome "in the coroner's inquest and police investigation into the disappearance of William Tyrrell".
The flip side of that would mean almost all of Jubelin's hearing could play out in closed court.
Strenuously opposing the police submissions, defence barrister Margaret Cunneen SC said "there must be open justice in this case".
The case was adjourned and the application will be dealt with tomorrow morning.
Magistrate Ross Hudson did not take the delay lightly and lambasted Mr Bhalla for not being properly prepared.
"The more you say the lighter the excuse becomes," Mr Hudson said.
"You need to go outside and make some calls. Not if, what or maybe. It's a matter of get it done."
But, as Mr Bhalla explained, part of the problem was Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame wasn't available to vary her suppression orders until late this afternoon.
With obvious reluctance, Mr Hudson adjourned the hearing and titled the delay "despicable".
Outside court, Jubelin said the allegations were first put to him a year ago.
"We are now 12 months down the track and we turn up to court today," he said.
"I was hoping this is where the full facts of the matter came out, unfortunately there has been delay today.
"I will continue to put my faith in the court and hopefully we will sort this situation out."