Crim­i­nal past haunts ex-cop

The Advertiser - - NEWS - AN­DREW DOWDELL

NEARLY 20 years af­ter he held a fe­male court staffer at knife­point, for­mer po­lice­man and armed rob­ber Wayne Noel Mad­de­ford can’t shake his past.

Mad­de­ford, 51, yesterday pleaded guilty to two dis­hon­esty charges, for fail­ing to dis­close full de­tails of his colour­ful past in two job ap­pli­ca­tions.

He ad­mit­ted he gave in­ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion when ap­ply­ing for jobs with a Kil­burn com­pany in April 2014 and for a po­si­tion with Play­ford Coun­cil be­tween Au­gust and Septem­ber 2015. In two years from Au­gust 1997, Mad­de­ford, pic- tured, fell from uni­formed po­lice­man to con­victed armed rob­ber then in­famy as the pris­oner who shut down the Dis­trict Court for five hours with a knife to the throat of a fe­male stenog­ra­pher in the Sa­muel Way Build­ing.

Yesterday’s short court hear­ing prompted a less-dra­matic stand­off be­tween Mad­de­ford and me­dia crews wait­ing in vain in the sti­fling heat out­side court.

But un­like his 1997 rob­bery – la­belled “in­ept and ridicu­lous” by his own lawyer – Mad­de­ford pulled off a cun­ning es­cape and eluded the cam­eras out­side Adelaide Mag­is­trates Court.

Af­ter speak­ing briefly with his bar­ris­ter Eu­gene McGee, Mad­de­ford sat down on a chair out­side the court­room.

A five-hour wait ended when it was dis­cov­ered Mad­de­ford had slipped the net by swap­ping his slacks and busi­ness shirt to a long coat, hat and sun­glasses about four hours prior.

Mad­de­ford re­mained on con­tin­u­ing bail ahead of sen­tenc­ing sub­mis­sions in the Dis­trict Court early next year.

He was quickly caught af­ter flee­ing the for­mer John Martin’s depart­ment store with $12,000 in Au­gust 1997. His lawyer, fu­ture Supreme Court judge Ann Vanstone, told the court Mad­de­ford was not men­tally com­pe­tent at the time.

She claimed Mad­de­ford’s get­away plan of park­ing his car with a Club Lock on nearly 2km from the crime scene, and run­ning through crowds of Univer­sity of Adelaide stu- dents were proof he was suf­fer­ing mental ill­ness.

She said a po­lice of­fi­cer of ra­tio­nal mind would have done a far bet­ter job.

How­ever, Dis­trict Court Judge Michael David ruled Mad­de­ford was men­tally com­pe­tent and that he could not grant a lesser sen­tence to an in­ept rob­ber than a skil­ful one.

On the morn­ing of his Septem­ber 1999 sen­tence, which Judge David re­fused to sus­pend, Mad­de­ford jumped the Dis­trict Court dock.

He then threat­ened to cut the throat of a stenog­ra­pher with a large knife he smug­gled into his sen­tenc­ing hear­ing.

Mad­de­ford – who had been or­dered to serve six years’ jail, with a non-pa­role pe­riod of 2 ½ years for armed rob­bery – leapt out of the dock wield­ing a 12cm-long kitchen knife he had hid­den up his sleeve.

The case sparked a po­lit­i­cal con­tro­versy and led to law changes that gave Sher­iff’s of­fi­cers the power to use metal scan­ners, af­ter Mad­de­ford used his then-le­gal right to refuse be­ing searched as he en­tered the dock.

He threat­ened to kill the woman be­fore re­leas­ing her at the urg­ing of his fam­ily.

Hav­ing served his sen­tences for his past crimes long ago, Mad­de­ford’s lawyers will ask that he re­ceives a sus­pended prison term for the job fraud of­fences.

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