02 May, 2010

Corrupt Kings Cross Coppers???

George Alexandroaia and Robert Rowe stood trial together, both charged with murder and kidnapping. The victims were Ronald Middleton and Sharon Martin, who were a defacto couple. Ronald was said to be a drug dealer in the Kings Cross area, and Sharon was a prostitute who was addicted to heroin.

The Crown case was that in June 1993 the two men abducted Sharon and detained her against her will. The following day they shot Ronald, then returned to where Sharon was being held and boasted of what they had done. She was eventually released about a week later, and went straight to the police. She was interviewed by Detective Inspector Davidson, and shortly after the police arrested Rowe and Alexandroaia. Rowe's house was searched, and Detective Constable McGrath found four photographs of an Uzi machine gun inside a filing cabinet.

The following day, Rowe made a call from custody, asking a couple that he knew, the Gusics, to destroy some items he had left with them for safekeeping. This included the Uzi and some other photographs of it. Before they managed to do this, police intervened. Ballistics testing conducted on the Uzi showed it was the weapon that had been used to kill Ronald Middleton.

At Alexandroaia and Rowe's trial, they denied any involvement in either Sharon Martin's kidnapping, or the murder of Ronald Middleton. The defence questioned the way Sharon's statement to D.I. Davidson was taken, and argued that it was unreliable. They also questioned the reliability of D.C. McGrath's evidence about finding the photos of the Uzi at Rowe's house. The two accused men stated that someone else killed Ronald, most likely someone in the Kings Cross drug scene, and that they had been set up to look like the killers.

The Crown case was that not only had Alexandroaia and Rowe killed Middleton, but they were also planning to kill Alex Mattar, another drug dealer who was know to provide Sharon with her heroin.

After two months, the jury were unable to reach a verdict and were discharged. Another trial was set.

In the intervening period Sharon Martin was found dead of a suspected drug overdose. D.C. McGrath, who found the Uzi photos in Rowe's house, fell to his death from the seventh floor of an inner city apartment block, apparently committing suicide.

At this time, the Wood Royal Commission into the NSW Police Service was taking place, hearing evidence of police corruption involving the Kings Cross drug scene. A witness known only as 'KX11' gave evidence that Alex Mattar had been involved in a 'marketing dispute' about the 'right' to sell drugs at the Budget Hotel, and that he had the support of the Kings Cross Police. Needless to say, both D.I Davidson and D.C. McGrath were members of the Kings Cross Police. D.I. Davidson had been responsible for investigating the allegations about Mattar - unsurprisingly without a result.

Thus at the second trial of Alexandroaia and Rowe, the defence put forward the theory that Alex Mattar had in fact arranged the death of Ronald Middleton, and that Sharon Martin had also been involved. The theory was that police officers had helped Mattar to set up Alexandroaia and Rowe for Middleton's murder. Alexandroaia in particular was chosen because he used to pick up Sharon Martin as a prostitute regularly, and he and Rowe had been associates for some time.

According to this theory, it followed that Sharon Martin had been murdered with a 'hot shot' (forced to shoot up a lethal dose of heroin) to prevent her giving evidence which would have been embarrassing to both Alex Mattar and the police. It followed that D.C. McGrath had then committed suicide rather than face another cross-examination regarding his supposedly false evidence about finding the Uzi photos in Rowe's house, and also to avoid being forced to reveal the existence of police involvement in an illegal protection racket.

The defence tried unsuccessfully to adjourn the second trial until after the outcome of the Wood Royal Commission. The defence expected that the Justice Wood's report would show that Alexandroaia and Rowe had been set up by a conspiracy between Sharon Martin, D.I. Davidson, D.C. McGrath, Alex Mattar and others. Alexandroaia was convinced he knew the identity of 'KX11' but this could not be proven, as 'KX11' was being kept under wraps and could not be traced.

Eventually, as it turned out, Alexandroaia and Rowe were acquitted on all charges.

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