He dedicated his career to catching killers and ended up in court. But ex-Detective Gary Jubelin would rather go to prison than pay a fine for doing his job.
He dedicated his career to catching killers and ended up in court. But ex-Detective Gary Jubelin would rather go to prison than pay a fine for doing his job.

Jubelin shock: ‘I’d rather go to jail than pay a fine’

Former homicide Detective Gary Jubelin says he would rather go to jail than pay a $10,000 court-ordered fine for recording a person of interest in the William Tyrrell investigation.

Jubelin, 58, this week releases an explosive autobiography in which he details a career that took him from uniformed recruit to the Armed Hold-Up Squad, Gangs Squad, Homicide, tactical policing and close personal protection - but the case that haunts him is the 2014 disappearance of three-year-old William from Kendall on NSW's mid north coast.

The retired Detective inspector is appealing his conviction and sentence for recording the conversations with Paul Savage, a neighbour of William's foster grandmother, during the investigation; charges that saw him removed from the matter and ultimately retire from the force.

Bonus "I Catch Killers" podcast: Gary Jubelin's most searing interview ever, introducing his explosive new book.

 

The Life and Many Deaths of a Homicide Detective, is published by HarperCollins Australia on Thursday, August 20 in paperback, e-book and audio. Pre-order your signed copy at Booktopia.

A District Court judge is presently considering the appeal.

Jubelin vociferously maintains he had an operational need to record the conversations on his mobile phone because the legally warranted police listening devices in Savage's home were plagued with audio and technical problems.

"I don't want to go to jail, but I'd rather go to jail than pay a fine," Jubelin says in an interview with the Saturday Telegraph.

"I've maintained the reason I recorded those conversations.

"What offends me about it, to get a financial punishment for doing my job … if I'm that bad, send me to jail.

 

Gary Jubelin pictured ahead of his book launch. Picture: Tim Hunter.
Gary Jubelin pictured ahead of his book launch. Picture: Tim Hunter.

 

"I'm strong on principles and I don't cut off my nose to spite my face but sometimes I'll cop the knocks to do what's right. I just find it offensive, the thought of paying a fine for doing my job. If what I've done is supposedly so bad, send me to jail."

Jubelin has rejected several offers from wealthy supporters to pay the fine, and has also rejected financial assistance from supporters who set up at least four GoFundMe accounts in an effort to bankroll his legal fees.

"It's not about the money," he said. "It's about the principle. I'm not a charity and there's more worthy people than me. And I would be embarrassed to get financial support for this. I've got myself into this situation. I'm a big boy. I'll get myself out of it. "

Jubelin said some of his police friends have been targeted within the force for publicly supporting him.

"Anyone that supports me, they were given a hard time," Jubelin says. "Am I that bad? Like, am I Roger Rogerson? It's made me value the friendships that I have and it's identified a few false pretenders.

 

Gary Jubelin arrives at the Downing Centre Court in Sydney. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Joel Carrett
Gary Jubelin arrives at the Downing Centre Court in Sydney. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Joel Carrett

 

"I own what I did. I believe it was justified and I'll always maintain that. But it's taught me a lot about life, and I've tried to turn adversity into something positive.

"In a fight-or-flight situation, I tend to fight, and probably that's to my detriment. But I want to fight the people who have done this to me, and I'm angry about it. But the best way I can beat them is just be successful and happy.

"If they think, sitting there in their evil little minds, 'Oh look, we've broken him', they've so far from broken me it's not funny."

In the book, co-written with journalist Dan Box, Jubelin reveals he was nominated by a fellow officer for the Australian Police Medal for his work on the murders of three children at Bowraville, but the nomination was overruled by then-Homicide commander Scott Cook because nobody had been convicted for the murders.

Jubelin says he was told by Ken Jurotte, manager of the NSW Police Aboriginal Coordination Team, that Mr Jurotte "asked Scott to sign off on it but he declined, telling Ken the case had not been solved yet."

 

William Tyrrell went missing in 2014. Picture: AAP Image/NSW Police
William Tyrrell went missing in 2014. Picture: AAP Image/NSW Police

 

At his trial, Jubelin said in court Mr Cook had told him of William Tyrrell: 'No one cares about that little kid, get him off the books, get him to unsolved homicide' - a claim Mr Cook denied at the time.

In the book, Jubelin says Cook personally questioned him about why the Tyrrell case was taking up so much of his time, asking: 'Why are you so hands-on? Why are you all over the Tyrrell case? You're the investigation supervisor. You're supposed to supervise it. Why are you interviewing people?'"

Jubelin writes: "Because I have to, I think. Because we don't have the staff. Because I have the skills and experience to do it. Because it's what I promised William's family: that I'd do everything I could to find William. That I would work each line of inquiry to destruction. This is what I do. It's what I am. This is how I catch killers."

Jubelin also writes that Scott Cook said he had "overstepped the mark" by attempting to help local police solve the murder of Theresa Binge, a cousin of one of the Bowraville victims who was found underneath a northern NSW culvert in 2003.

 

In the book Jubelin says Scott Cook questioned why the Tyrrell case was taking up so much of his time. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts
In the book Jubelin says Scott Cook questioned why the Tyrrell case was taking up so much of his time. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

 

"I've got to know the local cops and we've started looking at a person we think knows more than he's admitted … I'm sure the case is solvable. It just needs time, commitment and resources. I've suggested that, along with the local cops, I keep pursuing it," Jubelin writes.

"Scott's email says I've overstepped the mark; Theresa's unsolved murder has instead been sent for a review by someone else. When that comes back it will be put through what he calls a quality control process and a committee will decide whether to investigate it further. I feel gutted. What am I to tell Theresa's family? News like that will only cause them grief."

When he retired in 2019, before being charged, NSW Police refused to give Jubelin a certificate of service, despite the fact he reached the rank of Detective inspector with an unblemished record.

Theresa Binge’s murder remains unsolved..
Theresa Binge’s murder remains unsolved..

 

"They're not even prepared to give me that (certificate)," Jubelin said in the Saturday Telegraph interview. "But I've got a hell of a lot more than that, with how I went out. I was having a drink with a couple of friends and they said to me, and it made me put things in perspective, they said: 'You were never destined to retire the way normal police retire. And this is more fitting.'

"I reflected on that and it actually cheered me up. I've stood for something. And that's how I'd like to look at my career, that I stood for something. People mightn't agree with it, maybe I wasn't right, I don't know. But at least I had an opinion and I tried to do things. I look at it that way and think it was worthwhile."

The book reveals Jubelin's growing disillusionment with the justice system through his career, as he sees killers get away with their crimes and victims treated with disrespect or dismissed by some police, lawyers and judges.

"It's not a justice system, it's a legal system," Jubelin says. "What have we got a legal system for if it's not for justice? That's my frustration," he says in the interview.

"There's a lot of people that aren't heard."

The greatest challenge, he said, is fighting for resources within a squad or unit where managers are under pressure to get crimes off the books quickly.

"I would always fight for my investigations. Now, people have said that's a bad thing. I don't I don't think it's a bad thing," Jubelin said in the interview.

 

 

I Catch Killers by Gary Jubelin is out on August 20.
I Catch Killers by Gary Jubelin is out on August 20.

 

Sometimes, he said, a "strike force" investigating a homicide might be one or two detectives who are also working on numerous other cases.

"I would joke with bosses you call it a strike force. Why don't you just call it a strike? Because there's nothing, there's one person, or it's a strike pair. It's not a strike force, but it's very easy to sell to the public: we've got the strike force working on this, and that sounds heavy. It sounds official, but I think the victims certainly deserve to know, well, what does that entail?"

Jubelin said he has always been regarded as a "dog with a bone" and acknowledges he was not easy to manage for bosses exhausted by his constant requests for more staff and time on his investigations.

"If my loved one was murdered, I'd want the Detective to be a dog with a bone on the case. I don't think that's helped my career. But from a personal point of view, it defines who I am."

 

 

 

Jo in Gary and Claire Harvey for an exclusive live event online at 6:30pm AEST on Wednesday, August 19 at True Crime Australia on Facebook.

 

Originally published as Jubelin shock: 'I'd rather go to jail than pay a fine'



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