Clutching a John Grisham thriller, The King of Torts, the accused sat in the dock listening intently as he starred in his own courtroom drama.
"Few in the community would not have heard of Roger Rogerson," said Judge Peter Berman, noting that Rogerson had once quipped the media had changed his name by deed poll to "Disgraced Former Detective."
When he sentenced Rogerson, 64, to two year years in jail yesterday, it was not for the dramatisations, or his character, but for lying to the Police Integrity Commission nearly six years ago.
Rogerson pleaded guilty to lying to the commission in May 1999 when he said he did not know that his friend Sam Masri, a manager at Liverpool Council, was corrupt. He also falsely gave evidence under oath saying he could not remember being told he ICAC was investigating him.
"The Police Integrity Commission has a fundamentally important job to perform. Offences such as this, which affect its ability to do its job, are therefore very serious," Judge Berman said.
The sensation of being led away by guards is not unfamiliar to Rogerson. Fifteen years ago he was jailed for perverting the course of justice. He appealed and was acquitted, but in 1992 the appeal was quashed and Rogerson returned to Berrima jail until his release in 1995.
Funnily enough, it was a conversation with his then wife, Joy, that brought him undone. The jury was deliberating on Rogerson's fate over an earlier matter he had faced trial for - attempting to bribe a drug squad detective, Michael Drury - and was acquitted of. But Rogerson, expecting the worst, told his wife where the money was.
The conversation was overhead, which led to the discovery of secret bank accounts Rogerson had with more than $100,000. It was this which led Rogerson to jail.
This time around, numerous conversations, including some with Rogerson's current wife, Anne Melocco, were picked up on police phone taps. Not realising he had been bugged, Rogerson lied about what he knew when confronted by the PIC. When he was asked by counsel assisting, David Freason, if he might like to purge himself, Rogerson shot back, "What perjury? I'm trying not to."
It seems he wasn't trying hard enough. As Judge Berman said yesterday, Rogerson's lie had not been a "spur of the moment" decision and he had rejected a chance to correct his evidence.
His lawyer, Paul Kenny, said outside court: "Roger used to be a tough guy. These days he's just a broken-down old man ... completely broken by the system."