A POLICE detective has defended his decision not to use a photoboard including a picture of the man who’s accused of committing a serious assault in Ballarat North last year.
Robert Wayne Jeffrey, 51, appeared in the County Court in Ballarat yesterday, where he stands accused of the March 6, 2011 assault on Robert Linane.
Mr Linane suffered serious head injuries and spent three months in The Alfred hospital.
Yesterday, defence lawyer Michael Pena-Rees questioned the police officer in charge of the case for not putting a photoboard with a picture of his client to the key witness, Mr Linane’s partner Leanne Lawson.
The defence claims Ms Lawson has never met Jeffrey and that she is lying to protect her son, who they say was the one that actually carried out the assault on Mr Linane.
When asked why Jeffrey wasn’t put in the photoboard, police informant Detective Senior Constable Gerard Collihole said it would have been “inappropriate” because Ms Lawson said she knew Jeffrey.
Mr Pena-Rees said the omission was critical to the case.
“You’re a detective investigating a very serious assault on Mr Linane aren’t you?” he said.
“If she (Ms Lawson) identified Mr Jeffrey, it’s really important isn’t it?
“You took it upon yourself to assume who she was talking about was the same person you arrested outside the Queen’s Head Hotel.
“Unfortunately Mr Linane received serious injuries ... and is unable to assist.”
Earlier in the day a CD of the triple-zero call Ms Lawson made following the assault was played to the jury, in which she was heard saying “I can’t go back in the house because they’re coming back for me”, and that “Bob Jeffrey” and four other men had entered their home.
On Monday, evidence was given that a small blood stain found on Jeffrey’s boot – seized by police shortly after the assault – was 33 billion times more likely to match Mr Linane’s DNA than a randomly selected Caucasian.
The trial before Judge Tony Howard continues.