Sunday March 24, 1996
ARTHUR Stanley "Neddy" Smith, 51, accused of seven murders, is a big man with greying hair thin on top, very dark eyes, and a pallid complexion as smooth as a baby's.
From time to time his head rotates; he has had Parkinson's Disease since 1980; it is a slow death, not a killer.
Smith usually wears an open neck shirt and a cardigan at his committal hearing, but last Thursday he appeared in a beautiful grey suit and a spectacular tie.
This may have been connected with the fact that Roger Caleb Rogerson, 55, looking rather nondescript in a windbreaker and no tie, had suddenly appeared the previous afternoon to give evidence for the prosecution. There was a notable lack of eye contact between the two old acquaintances.
Rogerson pronounced his second name as Kay-leb and gave his occupation, after some thought, as factory worker.
He said those in charge of the Armed Holdup (AHU) Squad in his time (1974-1982) were Matt Carmody, Noel Morey and a Mr Morrison. He was dismissed from the police force-for reasons of a vendetta by senior police, he said-in April 1986.
He agreed with prosecutor Christopher Maxwell, QC, that he had a criminal conviction in 1990 for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
Charges against Smith include the murders of Harvey Francis Jones, 29, brothel-keeper, on or about Friday, July 15, 1983; Sallie-Anne Huckstepp, 32, at Centennial Park on the night of Thursday/Friday, February 6/7, 1986; and Barry "Sugar" Croft, 49, heroin dealer, at Chippendale on Thursday, August 6, 1987.
Rogerson told Maxwell it was "ridiculous" to suggest that in 1983 Harvey Jones "was attempting to get $60,000 to pay you (Rogerson) and associates to get him off a charge".
He had an alibi for Huckstepp's murder, and said he did not tell Smith it would be "best to get rid of Croft".
His evidence-in-chief took 18 minutes; his cross-examination by Winston Terracini, based on Smith's instructions, has thus far occupied five hours.
Smith was Rogerson's informant from 1976. The black-bearded Terracini, looking perhaps like a smallish but perfectly formed version of the late Dr WG Grace, suggested that their relationship was rather more than that, but Rogerson insisted that Smith "gave me information; I didn't give him information".
Rogerson denied giving Smith "information about other crimes", taking "money off Smith", or knowing that he "was heavily involved in criminal activities". Asked what Smith did for a living, he said: "He was a pensioner."
Terracini took Rogerson through some transcripts of telephone taps. On one 1983 tape he and Smith discuss ways of getting back $90,000 impounded by police some years before.
Smith's position was that the money belonged to his wife, Deborah. A solicitor code-named Mr White at these proceedings was representing Mrs Smith at the time.
Rogerson asks: "Have you spoken to (White)?"
"I've got his number," Smith replies; "he's out walking his girl up and down."
Terracini said Martina James, a friend of Rogerson's friend Morrie Nowytarger, alleged that she saw Rogerson at Lang Road (Centennial Park) on the night that Sallie-Anne Huckstepp was murdered.
Rogerson said: "I don't know how she could have seen me"; he was at the Merrylands Bowling Club with Sergeant Mal Spence and others at the time. He said he had been questioned about the murder a fortnight later because "there was an association between her and myself and Warren Lanfranchi."
Terracini: "Did you sign a record of interview?"
Rogerson: "No. I told them to piss off."
He said he and other members of the AHU Squad, John Bourke and Brian Harding, were involved in the arrests of Smith and Bobby Chapman in connection with an armed holdup of the Goodman Fielder Bakery in 1976.
Chapman got 13< years; none of the charges against Smith succeeded.
Terracini asked: "Did you and Bourke take $10,000 off Smith at Sydenham railway station?"
"No," Rogerson said. He could not remember whether he told Bourke, who was in charge of the case, that he gave evidence on behalf of Smith on one of his charges.
Rogerson denied that a former homicide officer, Angus McDonald, was a close friend in 1983, and corrected Terracini when he said McDonald was the husband of the "former" Governor of Queensland.
"Current Governor," he said.
His evidence was halted when Smith became indisposed and was taken to hospital.
Rogerson is an appellant in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal tomorrow and Tuesday; he will appear again before Magistrate Pat O'Shane on Wednesday.
A criminal code-named Mr Green has sworn he saw Smith standing over the body of Harvey Jones with revolvers at Botany Bay.
Another criminal, code-named Mr Brown, is still to give evidence of his conversations with Smith. Maxwell called Sergeant Stephen Reginald Foster, a former member of Operation Snowy, to give evidence touching on Green and Brown.
Foster, a tanned, stocky detective in a blue suit and nicely polished black brogues, said he examined the Iron Duke Hotel in Botany Road on May 29 last year and took part in an interview with Brown at Maitland police station on June 27.
He agreed with Terracini that "it came from Brown that Smith apparently alleged that he (Smith) killed Jones at the Iron Duke ... and his body was dumped off a boat".
He agreed he had been interested to ask an Alan Dillon about the death of Jones, and that he saw Dillon in the presence of Aarne Tees, "a former officer, now a barrister".
Tees had said: "Alan is concerned. He wants to know if he's a suspect. He is not prepared to make a statement."
Foster said he did not discuss with Brown any of a number of people he mostly referred to only by surname: Philip Western, Lanfranchi, Harding, Davidson or Rogerson. Nor did he "discuss any murders linking Harding, Davidson and Rogerson", nor "the murder of Christopher Dale Flannery".