From cop killer to prosecution witness
Crime writer Anthony Dowsley with his weekly dose of scallywag scuttlebutt.
AN UNLIKELY PROSECUTION WITNESS
Is serial killer Bandali Debs angling to get himself back to Victoria?
In a surprise revelation in the Supreme Court last week, Debs will be giving evidence.
Deadline can reveal Debs has given his version of events to police reinvestigating the murders of Sergeant Gary Silk and Senior Constable Rodney Miller about what took place in Cochranes Road, Moorabbin, in 1998.
Two decades ago police prosecuted him as a ruthless killer of their own.
Now he is set to be called as a prosecution witness against Jason Roberts, his former co-accused, about how the police officers were ambushed.
Roberts' conviction was quashed in November, 2020, and a retrial ordered.
The Supreme Court trial will begin in February next year.
Debs remains convicted of the double murder.
It is a sudden turn around by Debs.
In 2013, Debs refused to talk to homicide detectives assigned to Operation Rainmaker - which reviewed the Silk-Miller case - when they visited him in New South Wale's maximum security Goulburn Prison.
But he did put out a carrot.
He suggested his tongue could be loosened if he was returned to Victoria.
At the time, police were investigating whether or not Roberts was at the crime scene at all.
No deal was struck.
There is a plan to call him to give evidence under oath in pre-trial hearings.
It is the first time Debs has admitted killing the officers, who were fired upon while on a stake-out to find a pair of armed robbers holding up restaurants across Melbourne's eastern and southeastern suburbs.
Debs, who is serving four consecutive life terms for murder, will never be released from jail.
Since being moved to Goulburn Prison about a decade ago he has rarely received visitors.
Strangely, a couple of visitors who did see him came away with different stories to the one Debs is telling now.
Debs' convictions over the Silk-Miller shootings, following a marathon trial, led police to subsequently pin him through DNA matches to the killings of two women.
Debs was found guilty of the murders of Donna Hicks in Sydney in 1995 and Kristy Harty in Upper Beaconsfield in 1997.
PORSCHE DRIVER A FOX IN THE BOX
Porsche drivers have had their reputations shredded in recent times care of Richard Pusey.
Enter another Porsche enthusiast.
Matthew Fox has fought Victoria Police over a speeding ticket for the past two years.
While allegedly satisfying his need for speed, Fox was busted speeding 37km over the limit in his Porsche Cayenne.
But he attempted to outfox the cop who nabbed him because the paperwork was nowhere near as precise as his German sports car.
Fox had his charge struck out for driving his dream machine at 137km/h in a 100km/h zone in Nar Nar Goon because the police officer failed to specify the time and the correct name of the nearby road.
The cop claimed Fox sped on the Princes Fwy in June 2019, between Snell Rd and Interchange Rd - but there is no Interchange Rd in Nar Nar Goon.
A Magistrate dismissed the charge against Fox, finding it was "defective" because of the time and place issue.
But the battle was taken up to the Supreme Court, where the Office of Public Prosecutions fought to have Fox's speeding fine reinstated.
Justice Christopher Beale found that the officer's failure to note the time didn't make the fine invalid, nor did incorrectly naming the nearby road, which he deemed as "surplusage" to the offence allegedly occurring on the Princes Fwy in Nar Nar Goon.
Justice Beale has ordered the Magistrate's dismissal of the charge be quashed.
The two-year fight over the speeding fine will now return to the Magistrate's Court "to be determined in accordance with the law".
Originally published as Deadline: From cop killer to prosecution witness