Former drug kingpin Tony Mokbel paid $50,000 to have a police
informer killed on behalf of a Victorian detective, an
inquest has been told.
Terence Hodson and his wife, Christine, were found shot dead
at their Kew home in May 2004, months before he was due to
give evidence in a criminal trial against drug squad
detective Paul Dale.
A man, known only as witness M, told the inquest into the
Hodsons' deaths that hitman Rodney Charles Collins had once
boasted of getting rid of "brain tumours" for a police
Witness M said he later understood that removing brain
tumours meant shooting the Hodsons in the head.
Mokbel later told him he had put in $50,000 towards "Dale's
medical costs, if you know what I mean", witness M told the
Victorian Coroners Court on Tuesday.
He said Mokbel told him he had known the detective for a long
time and was confident of extracting information about police
Mokbel then said "Skinny" - meaning gangland killer Carl
Williams - had contributed the rest of the money for the hit,
witness M said.
Witness M said the Hodsons' names were never mentioned in the
conversations, but he was left with a clear inference about
who Mokbel and Collins had meant.
Detective Senior Sergeant Sol Solomon said witness M's story
had checked out, rejecting a suggestion from Mr Dale's
barrister, Geoffrey Steward, that it was fanciful.
"That's more than plausible in relation to witness M. It
happened," Det Sen Sgt Solomon told the inquest.
Mr Steward accused Det Sen Sgt Solomon of being "completely
blinkered" in relation to his client's connection to the
"Absolutely I disagree - 240 people were spoken to," Det Sen
Sgt Solomon replied.
"Paul Dale was spoken to on day one, gave us his alibi and we
never went near him for three-and-a-half years."
Mr Dale and Collins were charged with the Hodsons' murder in
2009, but the charges were withdrawn the following year when
Williams was murdered in prison.
Williams claimed Mr Dale paid him $150,000 to have Mr Hodson
Both Collins and Mr Dale have denied involvement.
Det Sen Sgt Solomon said police did not believe that a
criminal who had been implicated by Mr Hodson was responsible
for his murder.
"I never got the impression that they harboured that amount
of ill feeling towards him because of his informing," he
"There was never any outward angst or hostility expressed."
Det Sen Sgt Solomon said the crime was committed by someone
with "supreme proficiency in the art of killing people".
Mokbel is serving a 30-year jail sentence with a minimum 22
years for drug crimes.
Collins is serving two life sentences for the murder of
Dorothy and Ramon Abbey, who were shot dead at their
Melbourne home in 1987.
The inquest, before State Coroner Judge Ian Gray, continues.