Two children of underworld informers Terence and Christine Hodson have won a payout over the execution of their parents.
Two children of underworld informers Terence and Christine Hodson have won a payout over the execution of their parents.

Secret police payout over underworld executions

Two children of Terence and Christine Hodson have been secretly paid a six figure sum by Victoria Police over the shooting executions of their parents.

Mandy and Andrew Hodson sued the police for failing to protect their parents, murdered in Kew East in May 2004.

The Herald Sun can reveal Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton has settled the case to end a five-year legal battle.

A younger sister, Nikki, was not part of the litigation but all three children are now pushing for the inquest into their parents' murder to be reopened.

Andrew Hodson said: "There will never be real relief until somebody is charged and convicted of the murders."

Shortly before the double-murder, anti-corruption officers turned Terence Hodson - a prolific drug dealer turned registered police informer - into a Crown witness against two drug squad detectives.

Hodson had alleged Senior Constable David Miechel and Sgt Paul Dale, his police handlers, had approached him to burgle an Oakleigh drug safe house they had been surveilling.

Inside was more than $1.3 million in drugs and cash. Unbeknown to them it belonged to underworld baron Tony Mokbel.

Hodson and his wife, Christine, also a registered informer, were killed before he could testify against his handlers.

Hodson was a critical witness because although he and Miechel were arrested near the Dublin St burglary scene, Dale was at home.

Terence and Christine Hodson. Picture: Supplied
Terence and Christine Hodson. Picture: Supplied

But Hodson told anti-corruption officers that they had worked as a trio on previous aborted attempts and planned to share the proceeds of the September 27, 2003 raid.

Mandy Hodson said answers were also needed about the conflicted role of their father's lawyer Nicola Gobbo - aka Lawyer X - and the relationship she began with Dale as Hodson started co-operating with anti-corruption police investigating him.

"Someone's got to be held accountable for what happened," Mandy said.

"You can't just sweep it under the carpet and say, 'Oh well, it is what it is'."

Signing off on the Hodsons payout, Mr Ashton applied to the State Coroner John Cain to extend suppression orders over the 2014 inquest into the couple's death.

Former chief commissioner Ken Lay had written to Coroner Ian Gray in 2014 and successfully requested that Gobbo - a barrister who police used to inform on her clients - was withdrawn as a witness at the inquest.

 

Police at the scene of the Hodson executions.
Police at the scene of the Hodson executions.

Questions have also been raised as to whether police command crippled both the homicide investigation and inquest by withholding crucial information from both inquiries.

The Lawyer X royal commission has dredged up significant intelligence about the conduct of Gobbo and police.

Among many unresolved issues is a number of curious covert phone calls between Gobbo and her key client Mokbel in February 2004, less than three months before the Hodson murders.

Investigators probing the killings suspected the calls were about Terence Hodson's police informer file - known as the "Blue File".

Investigators alleged Dale stole the file after attending the drug squad offices in the hours after the burglary was bungled by Miechel and Hodson.

The 31-page file detailing Hodson's informing was leaked to Mokbel.

Investigators suspected Gobbo was the conduit between Dale and Mokbel for the leak, and were probing a series of phone calls - bugged by the Australian Federal Police - between Gobbo and Mokbel in the days before the file was disseminated by Mokbel to the underworld.

 

Many and Andre Hodson with a picture of their parents. Picture: Jake Nowakowski
Many and Andre Hodson with a picture of their parents. Picture: Jake Nowakowski

A number of "coded" calls between the pair were about "friends", "mutual friends" and "documents", investigators have stated.

It is understood the commission has not been provided with these recorded phone calls, but is "interested" in them.

Other questions remain over covert meetings and phone calls between Gobbo, Dale and gangland kingpin Carl Williams.

Williams was at Watergardens Shopping Centre in Taylors Lakes on May 6 when he called Dale from a phone box, which he claimed led to a meeting in Hillside where Dale asked him to organise the hit on Hodson.

Williams told police he had got the covert phone number from Gobbo.

Hodson and his wife were murdered nine days later.

Dale has strenuously denied all allegations made against him, citing that police offered inducements to Hodson and Williams.

Williams was murdered in 2010, before Dale could face trial over Terence Hodson's murder.

anthony.dowsley@news.com.au

Originally published as Secret police payout over underworld executions



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