Cobby cop’s wife plays key role in sending guilty down
Solve the case, find the murderer, make an arrest, get to court - and then match wits with a barrister earning thousands of dollars a day, whose goal is to find any hole in your case.
Even for one of Australia's most legendary homicide detectives, it's a daunting task.
Former Detective Superintendent Ian 'Speed' Kennedy - who was also coach of the NSW Waratahs rugby team until 2000 - says the courtroom battle is a brutal part of a police officer's job and not something he misses.
He would spend Sundays memorising his statements in major cases like the murder of Anita Cobby, which Kennedy solved in 1986, to avoid being tripped up by a defence lawyer looking for inconsistencies.
"By learning your evidence, you're learning every part of it, you're not going to get caught out," Kennedy says in today's episode of smash-hit podcast I Catch Killers with Gary Jubelin.
CONTENT WARNING: This episode of I Catch Killers contains graphic and distressing content
"I'd read my evidence to my wife and she'd pick up a couple of (problems) - it might be a word. It's more impressive in front of a jury when you're saying it off the top of your head rather than reading it out," Kennedy says.
"I think some defence barristers get people to plead not guilty so they can make more money. How dare I say that?"
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After his stellar career in homicide, as well as working in the special weapons team and as a hostage negotiator, Kennedy found himself bored in retirement and joined Corrective Services in a part-time job, accompanying prisoners in major trials from underground cells into the dock, and sitting through trials with them.
"I would sit there in some trials and say what in the hell is this bloke pleading not guilty to? It's legal aid or it's self-paying. It's so obvious. There's also some very honest lawyers; I'm not saying they're all coloured," Kennedy says.
He added: "There's a lot more crooks now pleading guilty to get the discount (on sentence) whereas before the (defence lawyers) would have run it just to be an arsehole, just to give the cops a hard time."
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Originally published as Cobby cop's wife plays key role in sending guilty down