Crown pros­e­cu­tor calls Pilcher ‘ ac­com­plished liar’ AC­CUSED DE­NIES STORY ‘ MADE UP’

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - LUCY SMITH lucy. smith@ news. com. au

PO­LICE have charged more than 20 peo­ple and seized cash, drug crops and uten­sils as part of a traf­fick­ing op­er­a­tion.

Ing­ham de­tec­tives and the North­ern Ma­jor and Or­gan­ised Crime Squad, MOCS, yes­ter­day closed an op­er­a­tion tar­get­ing the sus­pected traf­fick­ing of il­licit drugs.

Op­er­a­tion Os­car Au­rum be­gan in Oc­to­ber last year and iden­ti­fied a num­ber of peo­ple al­legedly in­volved in a drug syn­di­cate op­er­at­ing in Ing­ham.

On Mon­day and yes­ter­day, of­fi­cers from the Ing­ham Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion Branch, North­ern MOCS, the Townsville Tac­ti­cal Crime Squad and the State In­tel­li­gence Group fi­nalised the op­er­a­tion, which saw 23 peo­ple charged with 80 drug- re­lated of­fences.

Drugs with a street value of more than $ 150,000 were seized, in­clud­ing ice, cannabis and steroids. All those charged will ap­pear in Ing­ham Mag­is­trates Court in the next month.

De­tec­tive Act­ing In­spec­tor Ja­son Shep­herd said the op­er­a­tion was a good re­sult for the Ing­ham com­mu­nity.

“I would like to thank the as­sis­tance pro­vided by the com­mu­nity to the QPS through­out this in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” Act­ing In­spec­tor Shep­herd said.

“This re­sult is a tes­ta­ment to the col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween po­lice and the com­mu­nity.” WORK­ERS should be al­lowed to take sick days with­out giv­ing a rea­son, with em­ploy­ers or­dered to get in­no­va­tive with how they com­bat men­tal health prob­lems among staff.

Work­places have been called on to do more for their staff’s men­tal well­be­ing by busi­ness­woman Lucy Brog­den, who will be named to­day as the new Na­tional Men­tal Health Com­mis­sioner by fed­eral Health Min­is­ter Greg Hunt.

“I’d like peo­ple to be able to take sick leave with­out hav­ing to say why. The old food poi­son­ing, mi­graine ( rea­son) – that’s of­ten cov­er­ing up for a men­tal health day,” she said. DANE An­drew Pilcher has de­nied in court that he “dreamt up” a story about be­ing stabbed first by al­leged mur­der vic­tim Corinne Hen­der­son.

Crown pros­e­cu­tor Michael Cowen QC cross- ex­am­ined Pilcher, 38, on the sixth day of his Supreme Court trial yes­ter­day, sug­gest­ing he was an “ex­tremely ac­com­plished liar”.

The Townsville man has pleaded not guilty to the mur­der of his ex- part­ner Ms Hen­der­son in her Idalia unit about 11pm on Septem­ber 26, 2015.

Pilcher has told the court he saw a Face­book photo of Ms Hen­der­son with a man she was ru­moured to be see­ing, Dwayne Wick­ham, be­fore he caught a taxi to her apart­ment.

Pilcher said he broke through the kitchen win­dow of the third- floor unit. He said Ms Hen­der­son stabbed him in the arm and then they grap­pled over the kitchen knife.

He said he had a lac­er­a­tion on his arm from go­ing through the win­dow and one re­quir­ing su­tures from the stab wound.

Dur­ing ques­tion­ing from Mr Cowen, Pilcher agreed that he did not men­tion his stab wound to an am­bu­lance of­fi­cer, two doc­tors and a sur­geon.

Mr Cowen said the first time Pilcher men­tioned he had been stabbed was on Oc­to­ber 6, while was hav­ing a dress­ing changed.

“That is be­cause you’d had time to think about your story by then, wasn’t it?” he said.

Pilcher replied: “No, that’s in­cor­rect sir.”

Mr Cowen asked if Pilcher, who was trained in first aid in the army and had worked on mine sites, u n d e r s t o o d the need to de­scribe the “mech­a­nism of in­jury”.

“I did, I told the am­bu­lance of­fi­cers that I had been through a glass win­dow, I’d sus­tained in­jury through go­ing through a glass win­dow, which I had,” Pilcher replied. “At that point, my in­juries weren’t my pri­or­ity. Corinne was ly­ing de­ceased on the bed­room floor.”

Mr Cowen sug­gested Ms Hen­der­son had never stabbed Pilcher. “This is a story you have dreamt up sub­se­quently, re­ly­ing upon your skills as an ac­com­plished liar,” he said.

Pilcher replied: “That’s in­cor­rect sir.”

Mr Cowen asked whether Pilcher had feared for his life. “I feared be­ing stabbed again. I was try­ing to stop my­self from be­ing stabbed again,” he said.

“As I said, it all hap­pened in a mat­ter of sec­onds. There wasn’t time to con­sider it or make de­ci­sions. I just re­acted to be­ing stabbed.”

Pilcher has told the court he sep­a­rated from his ex- wife Kather­ine Pilcher when she dis­cov­ered his af­fair with Ms Hen­der­son.

Mr Cowen asked whether Pilcher had kept things se­cret from Ms Hen­der­son and Ms Pilcher, be­com­ing an “ex­tremely ac­com­plished liar”.

“I’m not sure if I would use that term sir, but there were lies told, yes,” Pilcher replied.

The de­fence case closed when Mr Cowen fin­ished his cross- ex­am­i­na­tion yes­ter­day.

The trial is sched­uled to con­tinue with clos­ing ad­dresses this morn­ing.

STABBING ALLEGATION: Corinne Hen­der­son and ( in­set) Dane An­drew Pilcher.

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