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Trudie inquest witness

screams abuse in court

Malcolm Brown

March 25, 2011 – 2:06PM

Police had to intervene at the Coroner’s Court in Glebe this morning when a witness in the inquest into the death of Trudie Adams became uncontrollable and began screaming abuse at the counsel assisting and the court staff.

Ms Adams disappeared when she left a dance at Newport on Sydney’s northern beaches in the early morning of June 25, 1978, and was picked up by a motor vehicle.

Garry Ireland, a pensioner, who was alleged to have boasted that he had helped abduct, rape and murder Ms Adams, angrily denied his involvement.

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When the counsel assisting, Peter Hamill, SC, tried to question him, he said: “I don’t care what you think or don’t think. Get this, I’m sick to death of what you guys think up.”

Mr Ireland heaped abuse on Inspector Alfio Sergi, who gave evidence this week, and said that the officer’s evidence was flawed.

Inspector Sergi told the inquest this week that, as a young man in 1978 – well before he joined the police force, he had heard Mr Ireland and another associate, Garrian Carr, boasting that they had been involved in the disappearance of Ms Adams.

Mr Ireland hurled a string of obscenities at Mr Hamill and accused him of “trying to put a wedge into everything I say” and, as a result of those tactics, every witness was afraid of saying the wrong thing.

After Mr Ireland then claimed Mr Hamill was a police officer trying to help his mates “cover their arse”, coroner Scott Mitchell was obliged to interject.

Mr Mitchell said that Mr Hamill was not a policeman, but he agreed with Mr Ireland that the police investigation into the disappearance of Ms Adams had had inadequacies.

He tried to explain to Mr Ireland that what the inquest was now trying to do was really important and it was trying to get to the truth.

When two police officers approached him in the witness box, Mr Ireland told them to take their hands off him “because I’m not going to talk to you”.

When a police officer told him to come outside the court, he said: “What do you want to do? Take me outside and flog me?”

As the police took him from the witness box, Mr Ireland snarled at the coroner’s associate and said: “Out of the way fattie!”

When Mr Ireland had left, Mr Mitchell thanked the police for their assistance and apologised to Ms Adams’s father sitting in the public gallery for having to endure “such a terrible thing”.

He said he would try to do his best to find out what happened to Ms Adams.

When Mr ireland reappeared, Mr Mitchell explained to him that, although Inspector Sergi had said he had heard Mr Carr and Mr Ireland boasting, he had not believed them.

He said that Inspector Sergi had also corrected himself during his evidence, and said it was Mr Carr who had been doing the bragging.

He said that Mr Ireland was not the only person mentioned in the inquest who had been accused of bragging.

When Mr Hamill said he had no further questions, Mr Mitchell said Mr Ireland was free to leave and that he could “certainly go”.

Mr Hamill said there was one remaining witness, Mr Carr, but the court had been presented with two psychiatric reports stating that Mr Carr, suffering a mental illness, was unfit to face a court room situation.

Mr Mitchell said the court was obliged to try as best it could to get useful information from Mr Carr and that alternative arrangements could be made for taking his evidence.

He adjourned the hearing until 2pm on Monday

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