A Detective in charge of investigating a double stabbing at Alva Beach has been forced to defend himself after coming under heavy scrutiny during cross-examination.

Ayr CIB Detective Sergeant Gavin Neal was peppered with questions about his decision not to charge Dean Webber over the deaths, and his movements leading up to attending the initial job on October 1, 2018.

Mr Webber stabbed Mr Davy and Mr Christensen after they came into his home looking for an injured woman, Candice Locke, who had knocked on his door asking for help as she was injured after coming off a buggy.

In a recorded walk-through, Ms Webber tells police Ms Locke said they were "bad men", and he heard him yelling out "threats" before coming into his home.

Ayr CIB Detective Sargeant Gavin Neal leave the three day of the inquest into the Alva Beach stabbing that left two dead at Cairns Court. PIc by Brian Cassey
Ayr CIB Detective Sargeant Gavin Neal leave the three day of the inquest into the Alva Beach stabbing that left two dead at Cairns Court. PIc by Brian Cassey

Mr Webber was taken in to police custody that night, and released more than 24 hours later without charge.

Sergeant Neal said Mr Webber's reaction was based on the information Ms Locke had told him, and he saw no reason to consult with the Department of Public Prosecutions as the self-defence case was not complicated.

"Every day during the investigating we had meetings, briefings … and we had meetings with the homicide squad … ultimately it's my decision to charge," he said.

"But everyone was of the same opinion that we should not charge."

Two other officers were working with Sergeant Neal the night of the stabbings: Constable Noel Dwyer and Constable Hayley Manning.

Constable Dwyer was the one who received the initial code three, or "routine", job that a woman had come off a buggy, was injured, and the men who "pushed" her were outside Mr Webber's home, making them feel unsafe.

"Something that police would need to go to, but further information would have been required … other than that it seemed as a routine job," he said.

Constable Dwyer told Sergeant Neal about the job, and they agreed because of the lack of urgency, he would head to Alva Beach after stopping to get some paperwork signed.

Constable Dwyer called Mr Webber to try and get more information, and eventually got a hold of him on his third try.

 

 

He initially thought Mr Webber was an off-duty paramedics because of the wording on the job, but discovered in the almost four minute call that he wasn't.

Constable Dwyer told Mr Webber there was a delay getting there as there was a prisoner in the lockup, but to lock the doors and call triple-0 if anything escalated.

He said the job was appropriately coded as a code three.

The job was eventually heightened after calls of the stabbing, and constable Dwyer called Constable Manning and Sergeant Neal back to the station, as he did not have his firearm or equipment.

Under cross-examination by counsel for the Davy family, Chris Minnery, constable Dwyer said Sergeant Neal's decision to not initially take his equipment had delayed their response to the incident at Alva Beach.

Originally published as Detective comes under fire for decisions



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