Grieving dad tells of top cop’s threat
A CONTROVERSIAL police officer who would go on to become one of the state's top cops threatened the father of a shooting victim after he was critical of the investigation, an inquest was told.
The officer, then Detective Sergeant Mike Condon, was "very angry'' and his tirade left the father badly shaken, the court heard.
Mr Condon, now an Assistant Commissioner, was recently embroiled in a marathon investigation into misconduct and corruption claims relating to the Daniel Morcombe inquest. He was cleared by the Crime and Corruption Commission.
Testimony relating to this encounter earlier in his career was revealed at the coronial inquest into the mysterious death of young scientist Jeffrey Brooks at the Beenleigh Crayfish Farm on March 13, 1996.
Police believed Jeffrey, 24, of northern NSW, accidentally shot himself with a rickety old shotgun as he tried to retrieve it - barrel first - from the front seat of a utility to scare away birds stealing stock from the dams.
However, family, friends and the farm's owners, as well as independent investigators and crime experts, have grave doubts about this theory. Backed by a new investigation by The Courier-Mail, the family wants the case reopened.
Jeffrey's father, Lawrie Brooks, a retired engineer, took a keen interest in the hunt for answers and was in regular contact with Sgt Condon.
Mr Brooks Snr told the inquest, before Coroner Trevor Anders at Beenleigh on April 7, 1998, that he had "critical issues which I wanted some answers to''.
He said six months after the death, he phoned Sgt Condon and found find him to be "really angry''.
"He said 'you dobbed me in to the Ombudsman, didn't you?' to which I replied 'No'.''
Mr Brooks told the court the officer said: "If there is a hearing, I will find out who did (tell the Ombudsman) and that person will be sorry''.
"I took that as a direct threat,'' Mr Brooks said.
"I'm not used to being threatened by people, by police officers. I was very shaken and I reported that straight to my wife.''
The shock allegations were unchallenged during the inquest by the lawyer representing police.
Mr Condon, now Assistant Commissioner Southern Region, told The Courier-Mail: "If any person has any concerns about my conduct during the Brooks investigation they should report their concerns to the appropriate authorities.''
The Courier-Mail is telling Jeffrey's story in the true crime podcast Dead Wrong.
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