The case of the alleged partying hash-cookie cop on hold
ALLEGATIONS former Tweed/Byron Inspector Shane Diehm lied about a party where several high-ranking NSW police officers were allegedly filmed using drugs, have been put on hold until June.
Over the past two days, Sydney's Downing Local Court has been played footage from what has been described as a "binge weekend", captured by cameras secretly installed in a Gold Coast apartment by the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission.
The footage was first aired during a series of private hearings before the NSW Police Integrity Commission in 2011.
Diehm's evidence before PIC was that he had taken a pill and consumed hash cookies himself but for whatever reason - explanations have varied from severe intoxication to memory loss caused by depression or post-traumatic stress - could not recall seeing any of his colleagues using drugs themselves.
Throughout this week's hearing, the prosecution relied on several colourful remarks made by officers in the footage, in an attempt to prove Diehm must have known drug activity was taking place.
At one point, an officer is described as the "Masterchef" of hash cookies while another is heard calling out "come into my office - I have some freshly baked cookies".
Diehm's lawyers have rejected the content of much of the transcript provided from the PIC hearings and in particular, denied that many of the statement's attributed to Diehm were in fact made by him.
Quotes in question included a reference to hash cookies taking months to get out of your system and the words "Where are the pills? We've paid a couple of hundred dollars for those f***ers".
Former top cop Brett Fitzgibbon, who knew Diehm and several other senior officers attending the party through their association with the NSW Police Force's Wombats rugby team - was called by the prosecution to help decipher the voices in the footage.
But Diehm's lawyers argued he could not be relied upon to recognise Diehm's voice as they had very little to do with each other outside of "cameo appearances" at rugby matches and "beers after footy".
Instead, Mr Fitzgibbon, a former officer of more than 20 years, was asked to point out the voices of those he knew well - one of his former "best mates", retired Hunter Valley Superintendent John Alt and Inspector Matt Dennis.
Eventually however, Magistrate Ellen Skinner ruled the process was going to be a tedious one for "very little reward" and Mr Fitzgibbon was excused.
She said she would not put too much weight on the statements that had been attributed to Diehm specifically and would instead focus on what could be seen going on around him in the footage, which allegedly shows several officers consuming biscuits repeatedly referred to as hash cookies.
Diehm, who was voluntarily discharged from the NSW Police Force in 2012, was expected to take the stand on Tuesday afternoon but the hearing was adjourned until June 23.
Serving Tweed/Byron Sergeant Roderick Morris is also charged with giving false-misleading evidence to PIC and will front a separate hearing next week.