Gangland killer offered shot at $1m reward

Gangland killer Carl Williams was let out of jail for Christmas and told he would be eligible for a $1 million reward before linking former detective Paul Dale to a double murder, an inquest has been told.

Police informer Terence Hodson and his wife Christine were found murdered in their Melbourne home in 2004, shortly before Mr Hodson was due to give evidence in a criminal trial against Mr Dale.

Mr Dale and convicted killer Rodney Collins were accused of the murders but the charges were dropped after Williams was killed in prison.

Mr Dale's barrister Geoffrey Steward told a coronial inquest into the Hodsons' death today police and prosecutors had been involved in an "obsessional pursuit" of his client for more than a decade.

In seeking to prevent his client being forced to give evidence at the inquest, Mr Steward said Williams' claim that Mr Dale paid to have Mr Hodson killed was the only basis for the murder charge.

The convicted killer had been given incentives and inducements before making the claim, Mr Steward told the Victorian Coroners Court.

He said Williams was let out of prison to spend Christmas with his father George Williams, told his father's $750,000 tax debt would be forgiven, and told he would be made eligible for a $1 million reward linked to the Hodsons' murder investigation.

Mr Steward said it was "almost inconceivable" murder charges would be laid on the word of a "totally disreputable" killer.

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