One Law For All - The Steven Wallace Killing
At the conclusion of yesterday’s evidence in the trial of Senior Constable Keith Abbott for the murder of Steven Wallace the difficulty of the jury’s task was shown in sharp relief through the eyes and ears of almost-eye-witness Todd Wilson.
Senior Constable Abbott stands accused of the murder of 23 year old Steven Wallace, whom he shot in Waitara, Taranaki in April 2000. Abbott pleads not guilty to the charges against him, claiming that he acted in self-defence.
Wilson had met Wallace earlier in the evening of the fateful night in The Mill night-club in New Plymouth. Then Wallace had seemed fine he said. After returning to Waitara in the early hours Wilson and four friends, in his Holden Kingswood, came across Wallace in the midst of an attack on an ATM machine. Wallace told them to “fuck off”.
Wilson saw Wallace twice more before he died. Firstly he saw him briefly in McLean St smashing windows. And then later – after dropping off a passenger - Wilson pulled into a side-street, just as Wallace’s sixty four second walk down Mclean Street to his death began.
During Constable Abbott’s evidence in the morning these sixty-four seconds - between the policemen alighting from their patrol car and the volley of fatal shots - seemed to those in the court to have taken an eternity.
Through both examination in chief and cross-examination the jury heard in minute detail about these sixty-four seconds, as it is on these seconds that the trial rests. The Jury is being asked to put itself into Abbott’s mind for this period as he makes the life and death shoot-don’t shoot decision while walking backwards down the street.
By and large the evidence in
the trial addresses what happened, and what Abbott’s options
were during this period. In theory his options – as outlined
by former Police Superintendent Bryan Rowe in evidence
yesterday - were:
- to wait for the police dog handler;
- to use his pepper spray;
- to run away (usually described as making a “tactical retreat”) and make a new plan for tackling Wallace;
- to get his fellow Constable Jason Dombroski to help him tackle Wallace physically using their PR 24 batons;
- to shoot to wound;
- or to shoot to stop.
Under cross-examination Prosecution Counsel John Rowan QC asked Abbott repeatedly if at various points Abbott had considered using these alternative options. Always the answer was no. (see below for a fairly complete transcript of this.)
“But there was time to think of them?” Rowan prodded again and again. “But I didn’t”, replied Abbott.
On its face this might seem a little unreasonable, but then over and above all this talk of “options” there is the question of time. Sixty four seconds of time. Moreover what is at issue in the trial is not what Abbott could have done, but what he was actually thinking.
Abbott said that to him the sixty four seconds, “seemed like ages”. Not so to Wilson and his three friends.
Wilson’s Holden Kingswood pulled into the side-street, around the corner from McLean Street, just as Wallace was crossing the intersection walking towards two policemen. The policemen were pointing something at Wallace, Wilson said. “The tall policeman told us to fuck off or something. But we hung around for a little bit.”
Q: “Did you hear anything?”
A: “Yes. Five or six gun shots. First one then a pause then four or five.”
Under re-examination by the prosecution Wilson was asked to recall the exact time periods again.
Q: “How long was there between losing sight of them and the shots?”
A: “Thirty seconds to one and a half minutes. Not quite a long time.”
Judge Chambers intervened to clarify, “you say quite a long time?”.
A: “No, not quite a long time. Basically we got out of the car and then it was all on.”
Q: “How long was there between the shots.”
A: “Bang….(1 second pause).. then bang, bang, bang, bang.”
And that was what the 64 seconds were like for Wilson. Just enough time to get out of his car, have a quick look around and then bang…. bang, bang, bang, bang. It was “all on”.
And it is this 64 seconds that the Jury is asked to deliberate on in considering its verdict.
What was in Constable Abbott’s mind during this period? Did he fear for his life as he pulled the trigger? Did he think he had any other option available at the precise moment he fired? On this question rests the so-called “absolute defence” to murder of self-defence. If Abbott thought he was in imminent danger of being killed by Wallace, if he thought he had no other option, then he was entitled to pull the trigger to defend himself.
Till now the picture of what happened in these final few moments has been hazy. Several eye-witnesses have given different accounts. And till now Constable Abbott himself has not given evidence in a court.
Today the Jury heard the direct evidence of Constable Abbott on this. Constable Abbott’s description of what happened has already been covered already in… ”Abbott Murder Trial: Constable Abbott Takes The Stand”.
In this evidence Constable Abbott stated clearly that he was in fear for his life when he pulled the trigger, and that he felt he had no other option. Under examination and cross-examination he stuck to his account, as first the defence counsel Susan Hughes, and then Prosecutor John Rowan, who is prosecuting Abbott on behalf of Wallace’s family, canvassed the available options during that crucial sixty four second period.
Firstly there was the option of waiting for the dog handler. Abbott said he didn’t know the handler was on his way. And that said, he had seen an offender fend off two dogs with a baseball bat in the past.
Secondly there was his pepper spray, which he had with him, holstered on his utility belt. Pepper spray has a range of 1 to 3.5 meters.
“Initially when we approached he was well outside that range,” Abbott said. “When he hot within that range I had my weapon drawn and not enough time to draw the pepper spray. Also I knew that it does not always work on a determined goal driven person, intoxicated and the like. Had I used it and it not worked he would have been on top of me.”
“What about the other constables?”
“As far as I was concerned it was just me and Steven Wallace. Constable Herbert was 30ms to my left and Dombroski was to my right somewhere.”
Then there was his PR 24 police baton and his brown belt karate skills. “Why didn’t you defend yourself with your baton,” Hughes asked.
“I consider this outside my capabilities. This was not an ordinary guy. He was enraged. Out of his tree. Even if all three of is had taken him on one of us would have been killed or injured.”
And the “Shoot to wound” option. “In the Armed Offenders Squad we are always taught to shoot for the center body mass. If you shoot for legs, arms or shoulders you can miss.” Abbott said that in a “combat” situation with a pistol there is not enough time to aim, “you shoot instinctively, reflexively is what we say in the AOS.”
Abbott then recounted a previous situation when he was involved in an AOS operation to foil a bank robbery. Then he had been shot at by a bank robber from a distance of just a couple of meters. He responded by shooting four shots with a revolver at the offender, all four shots had missed.
Finally there was the tactical retreat option. “He got to such a point that I could not let him get any closer.” Abbott said that behind him was the kerb, some planters and other obstacles. Had he tripped Wallace would have been on top of him.
And so, sixty four seconds after getting out of his car, and having walked backwards around 50 ms down McLean Street away from Wallace, Abbott says he had no choice but to shoot to stop.
Q: “When you shot him what did he do?”
A: “He dropped the baseball bat. It seemed to happen slowly….. The bat rolled down the camber of the road into the gutter. He slowly sank to his knees. He was still shouting abuse. To my amazement he stood up. Stooped at the waist. I stayed in my location….. Mr Wallace went down on to his hands and knees and then rolled over onto his back…. I called out for an ambulance and stayed in my spot.”
The cross-examination from John Rowan concentrated mainly on the option of tactical withdrawal. The account below starts at the beginning of the sixty-four second period. At times in the exchange Rowan raised questions of consistency between Constable Abbott’s description of events and those of other witnesses, it would appear that the prosecution case will be based upon these inconsistencies.
Rowan: Initially you could have tactically withdrawn?
Abbott: There was no need to.
Rowan: But he was really angry?
Abbott: At that stage there was no reason to withdraw.
Rowan: There was time to consider withdrawing though?
Abbott: I didn’t.
Rowan: And it continued like that, you withdrawing backwards and him coming towards you?
Rowan: He was taking no notice of what you were saying?
Abbott: No he wasn’t.
[McLean Street is four lanes wide with a median strip approximately a lane wide in the middle, overall the street is 17meters wide. ]
Rowan: You were still 20 meters apart when you drew your pistol?
Rowan: There were other options at that stage?
Abbott: Which ones?
Rowan: Tactical withdrawal, going towards Constable Dombroski, calling for assistance.
Abbott: I didn’t consider them.
Rowan: You knew Dombroski was armed and could cover you?
Abbott: He was in a position. But I didn’t know where.
Rowan: You could have called him. You didn’t?
Rowan: You could have moved and didn’t?
Abbott: No I stayed focussed on Mr Wallace.
Rowan: You knew that wracking [Sliding the cocking mechanism backwards and forwards] your pistol would wind him up?
Abbott: No. That was not my intention.
Rowan: You had time to withdraw?
Abbott: I did not consider withdrawing.
Rowan: He was coming at a constant pace?
Rowan: You had to take control?
Rowan: And use Constable Dombroski?
Abbott: I was trying to take control. I did not consider Dombroski at that stage?
Rowan: You could have called Dombroski to assist and formed a quick plan?
Abbott: Things were moving quite fast.
Rowan: But you were the experienced Police Officer who knew how to handle it?
Abbott: I would have hoped so.
Rowan: You said to this person, “put it down you little cunt”?
Abbott: Definitely not.
Rowan: And that wound him up?
Abbott: I did not use that word.
Rowan: And you got a response, “get fucked you bastards”?
Abbott: I told him to put his weapons down.
Rowan: You had room still to move all the way down the street?
Abbott: Things were moving very fast.
Rowan: But you had room to move?
Abbott: I was moving, backwards.
Rowan then asked Abbott about the testimony of two earlier witnesses, Messrs Luxton and Cooper, whose accounts of the final few moments vary slightly from that of Abbott.
Mr Cooper said that rather than walking straight towards Abbott, Wallace had stayed on his own side of the road and that they had tracked down the road walking in roughly parallel tracks.
Mr Luxton, whose flat overlooks the site of the actual shooting, said that before firing his warning shot Abbott had advanced towards Wallace.
According to Abbott both witnesses were partially mistaken about what they saw, though he conceded eventually that as Wallace had died in the middle of the median strip while advancing towards him across the road Wallace must have stayed on his own side of the road for the entire 64 seconds of the standoff.
In relation to Mr Luxton’s evidence Mr Abbott said he had not advanced towards Wallace at any time, other than when he first got out of the police car.
Approaching the final moments in the sixty-four second standoff the question line of the prosecution, and the answers from Abbott, remained the same.
Rowan: You could have moved towards Constable Dombroski?
Abbott: I didn’t
Rowan: Surely at some stage you must have looked to see where Constable Dombroski was and what he was doing?
Abbott: No I didn’t?
Rowan: You must have wanted his help?
Abbott: It would have been helpful.
Rowan: Do you accept that at the time you fired the warning shot you could have moved away from Mr Wallace?
Rowan: If the separation was 20 meters and this man had a baseball bat, there was no reason to fire a warning shot at him?
Abbott: I never fired a warning shot at him. I may have been wrong about the 20 meters.
Rowan: You had room to move laterally [sideways]?
Rowan: You could have glanced around and moved backwards.
Abbott: No I didn’t.
Rowan: But you had time to orientate yourself?
Rowan: The pace of his approach after the warning shot did not speed up did it?
Abbott: I got the distinct impression that it did. Along with his determination.
Rowan: You still had time to move quickly out of his path?
THE FATAL SHOTS
Nearing the end of the cross-examination Rowan question Abbott on the actual shooting. The prosecution alleges that the third shot of four was the fatal shot, and that there was a pause between the first two shots and the second two shots.
Rowan: Is your training to fire a double tap? [A double tap is two shots in rapid succession]
Abbott: We do fire double taps. The main objective though is to stop the threat.
Rowan: You started your fire with a double tap?
Abbott: I recall three shots equally spaced. Bang. Bang. Bang.
Rowan: Do you accept four shots were fired.
Rowan: Do you accept the evidence of pathologist Dr Thompson that there was a space between the shots? [Note: The Defence is going to call its own pathologist who has a different view on this.]
Abbott: I can only recall four shots. The warning shot and the three shots.
Rowan: Then how was Steven Wallace shot in the back?
Abbott: I can’t explain that.
Rowan: You have told us you were focussing on him. You must have seen movement before the fourth shot was fired?
Abbott: No I didn’t.
The trial is
NOTE: The following allegations were answered in the trial reported above....
The background contents of this report titled 'One law for all' was compiled by Advantage Advocacy and appears at http://www.advantageadvocacy.co.nz/docs/report.html on the Internet. The reports author is DERMOT GREGORY NOTTINGHAM. The report was commissioned independently of the Wallace family at the complete expense of Advantage Advocacy. It is republished by Scoop with the permission of the author.
BIG VERSION - http://www.advantageadvocacy.co.nz/images/gunmodel5.jpg
One law for all;
In other words:-
Let the justice system run its natural transparent course with the prosecution firstly facing the minimalist prima facie hurdle at depositions having only to establish that the allegations if proven at trial amount to a crime. If a case to answer is made out, there would be a trial wherein, after all of the evidence has been heard and tested and, the adversaries have subjectively argued for the ear of the jury, the learned Court will carefully instruct twelve independent/objective juror's on the appropriate means by which they should decide the facts to determine what occurred or what was omitted to be done, in the early morning on 30 April 2000, at Waitara, leading to the killing of STEVEN JAMES WALLACE and, if certain facts are found, what guilt, if any, should be attributed to the killer, KEITH ABBOT and his accomplices. It is only by this transparent means can all New Zealanders be assured that not only has justice been done, in the matter of the killing, but more importantly it has manifestly been seen to have been done.
This report is dated 5 May at Waitara at 10.30pm and its contents will be used as grounds to issue an information against KEITH ABBOT alleging that KEITH ABBOT either murdered, or in the alternative, could have prevented his killing of, STEVEN JAMES WALLACE.
1. Never before in New Zealand's history has there been such a clear cut case where a man has been shot whilst the Police have clearly identified that the man was not armed with a gun when they deliberately shot to kill. However, there was a killing by Police in Taumarunui in January 1971 wherein the man was found not to have been armed when the Police had allegedly thought he was armed when they killed him. In that killing a Police Officer crouched at a window of the local Police station and in the manner of a sniper shot Daniel Houpapa through the heart killing him deliberately. Peter Williams QC represented that victim's family at the coroner's inquest and to this day still feels that justice was manifestly not seen to have been done in that case. Mr Williams wrote a report on the killing of Steven Wallace and that report can be seen on this site. Mr William's report ably handles the general issue of what should still be done by way of an independent investigation of the killing of Steven by (Constable) KEITH ABBOT. Mr Williams report does not go into any depth about the evidence found in my report.
2. There are significant similarities between the two cases of Wallace and Houpapa. Both men were Maori and lived in small provincial towns. In both instances the identity of the Killer has been kept secret to most New Zealanders. No charges were laid by the Police. Both victims were heavily outnumbered by armed Police and neither had guns. Both shootings by Police caused a rift between the people of the towns and surrounding communities. The rift was along racial and socio-demographic-political lines. This rift is part and parcel of the type of contact the two divergent groups have with Police. The alleged facts, as dictated by the Police reports into the two killings were never tested and left suspicion and concern that the Police have been given a mandate to kill at will, as long as they can raise a defence, (no matter the weakness), that the officer acted in self defence.
3. The most important question that remains unanswered in both cases is whether the Police's actions would be considered lawful by the Police if they were committed by a person other than a Police Officer? In other words would the Police bring a charge against you or I if the facts were found to be the same, and how would they investigate the killing and what would they base their case on? I am confident that it can be successfully argued that both killings were completely preventable and entirely unnecessary. If so why are the killings not unlawful? Because the Killers were Policemen?
4. However there are dissimilarities between the killings as well. The Police admit that they knew that Steven was not armed with a gun. The Police admit that they thought that Steven was in fact David Toa, a man that was nearly 40, whereas Steven was in his early twenties. One of the Police was heard by a witness to address Steven just before the killer emptied 3rd of a clip into Steven with the comment 'we've been after you for a long time David'. Steven was not shot once but at least four times, (and possibly 5 times) and the kill shot was not the first that hit young Steven's body. The first shot that allegedly hit Steven's body hit his arms and would have disarmed him if he had been carrying a baseball bat as alleged by the killer and his accomplices at the scene.
5. There is the allegation by the Killer that he fired a warning shot above Steven. Was it safe to fire a warning shot in the middle of a town where the Police knew that there were people in the street? Why fire such a shot? Would the Police prosecute you or I for such a practice? Was there such a shot? If you accept the evidence of some witnesses, arguably not. All of AOS (armed offenders squad) procedure was breached in the Killing of Steven. The Killer was an experienced Police Officer and expert in AOS procedure and the best marksman in the Taranaki AOS. Why would such an expert ignore his training so completely? To get Dave? Irrelevant of the absolute failure to follow Police procedure, arguably all reasonable steps were not taken by the Killer and his accomplices to preserve the life of a person who had not committed offending serious enough to have likely drawn a prison term. This report will go into some detail about the killers various omissions to enable the killing and motives for the Killing.
6. The Killer says that he was scared to approach Steven without a gun. If the killer and his accomplices were scared to approach Steven without a gun, they should have not made the approach, observed Steven and appealed to Steven through a loud hailer until further help arrived in the way of dogs or other police Officers. This is in fact what Police procedure is.
7. As it turned out substantial help was only minutes away. A few minutes' wait would have saved young Steven's life. Why did the killer and his accomplices not keep tabs on how close help was? Were the Killer and his accomplices aware that they had to kill Steven before help arrived, (Thinking that they were killing Dave)? Is that why the time lapse between obtaining the guns at the station and the killing was just 75 seconds? Was that why five bullets were fired of which four definitely hit Steven, (one into Stevens back)? Is that why the comment about wanting to get Dave for a long time was made? Is that why the Killer and his accomplices did not assist Steven for a long time knowing that he was likely to die from the wounds and in fact stopped witnesses from assisting Steven in these crucial moments.
8. One witness remembers (Constable) JASON DOMBROSKI going over to Steven and lifting his shirt up to see the bullet wounds in Stevens back and leave the already blood soaked shirt up purposefully exposing the severe wound's inflicted by the killer to the cold early morning air. Is this the action of a cop doing what a reasonable person would do in the circumstances or is it the action of a callous individual who cared nothing for the frailty and importance of human life? Was DOMBROSKI inspecting the Kill? Another witness recalls the Killer replying to the question 'why did you have to shoot him four or five times say; 'You want to go back to school and learn to count'. Is this the comment of a normal person who had just shot someone 4 or 5 times or the comment of a callous killer pleased with his handy work with his weapon of choice? A witness remembers (constable) JASON DOMBROSKI commenting that he considered Steven still dangerous after having been shot five times. Dombroski's comment was to the effect 'No he's still going to get us'. Is this comment reasonable in the circumstances, or is it a smart arse comment of an accomplice being facetious.
9. It is my belief that the killer and his accomplices would not have approached Steven in the 'wild west' manner that they did, if Steven had been armed with a gun. Axiomatically it can be argued that they approached him in the open in a well lit street armed to the teeth because there was no way that Steven Wallace could win an engagement because Steven Wallace had brought a club to a gunfight. Asked objectively how many of us would feel our lives were threatened when we outnumbered an exhausted drunken youth with a club when we were sober and armed with two 9mm Glock pistols.
10. I argue that no reasonable person would be frightened, let alone a number of highly trained Police Officers with two tonne cars at their disposal, and several other witnesses that could have been called for assistance, with a significant number of Police Officers and a dog wagon just moments away. Most importantly Steven had stopped the smashing of windows most likely because he was exhausted and if left alone would have come to his senses. In any event some evidence states that he was not a direct threat to the Killer and his accomplice when he was riddled by a fusillade of high velocity 9mm rounds from the killers pistol.
11. If it was you or I that had been found in the same circumstances what would we have done? Would it be considered by the Police as reasonable for you and I (in fact three people), to confront a person (that we are allegedly scared of if we were not carrying guns), and kill that person, (that we were allegedly after for a long time), after warning that person that we were armed and that person still walked in our direction, when we could have vacated, or not presented in the first instance. Of great interest is the admission by the Killer and his accomplices that they went to obviously intervene without the intention of arresting Steven and that they had not formulated a plan before undertaking the confrontation. The question begs itself; If not to arrest, to do what? To get Dave? If that was there intention, they were certainly successful. Five shots in quick succession making absolutely sure of the kill. If you or I had made the comments alleged to have been made before and after the killing as reported in paragraph 8 of this report do you believe that the Police would not charge us with murder?
12. There are several independent witnesses evidence that contradicts the evidence of the Killer and his accomplices. The evidence of these witnesses, if accepted as being the truth by a jury would inculpate the Police Killer and his accomplices to the extent that I believe that the jury may find the Killer guilty of murder, or in the alternative manslaughter, and his accomplices guilty as parties to the crime. For the purpose of a preliminary hearing, wherein I would present the evidence that I believe makes out a crime, I am certain that a prima facie case can be made of murder, and in the alternative manslaughter to require a judge to commit KEITH ABBOT and his accomplice's in the killing, being JASON DOMBROSKI and a female Police Constable.
B THE POLICE INVESTIGATION INTO THE KILLING AND REPORT BY DETECTIVE INSPECTOR BR PEARCE
13. The Police allege that a thorough investigation into killing was completed and that the evidence the Police found amounted at best to be insufficient to bring a charge for murder or manslaughter. At page 184 of his report Detective Pearce states;
'That while issues of fact are more properly the domain of a jury, it is considered that no jury properly directed could, beyond reasonable doubt, find that Constable A shot Steven WALLACE other than in self defence'
14. The Police report largely relies on the evidence of the Killer ABBOT and his Police accomplices being treated as being wholly honest and accurate. The first point of concern is when would the Police normally accept the evidence of strong 'suspects' over that of several independent witnesses. The simple answer is never. The Police would quite rightly leave that decision as to who was telling the truth, or whose evidence was reliable, to the jury.
15. As aforesaid and can not be gainsaid, the Police report relies heavily on the Killer's evidence, even when a friend of the killer who allegedly witnessed the same event had a completely different recollection of certain crucial events leading up to and during the killing. This witness also 'remembered' further evidence after he was revisited by two officers. This recollection is suspicious but the evidence taken at its best again does not match sufficiently the recollection of the Killer and his accomplices.
16. The Police report is some 185 Pages long without its considerable annexures. It is prolix, and I submit designed to confuse the reader and excuse the otherwise inexcusable. If ever there was evidence available that there has not been an independent investigation, and moreover that there has been a cover-up, the Police report is that evidence. A significant amount of the reports content is completely irrelevant and of no probative value whatsoever. Volumous content of the Police report is prejudicial and highly perjorative towards the memory of young Steven. I believe that crucial parts of the evidence of the Killer and his accomplices is false and can be proven as false with a limited amount of investigation. Investigation that should have been done but has been purposefully omitted to be done by the Police.
17. A barrister friend of mine commented after reading the report that it was the normal report of the 'one eyed blue monster' and that there should be some attempt to have the matter independently investigated. I have personally been involved in cases where the Police have omitted to report or seek evidence, which exculpates accused persons. One such case was recently in Taranaki (and is reported on this site) where a man was wrongly charged with rape.
18. I investigated the rape allegations and within a few days had incontrovertible evidence establishing the innocence of the accused. The Police and the Crown refused to act to obtain further evidence, when advised by me where that exculpatory evidence was. A senior detective actually attempted to defeat the course of justice by not reporting evidence in the form of a statement. The Police Officer also acted in a manner, which might have been considered intimidating. I contemporaneously raised the alarm bells to the Taranaki commander. Nothing was done about the Police officers unlawful actions.
19. I believe that intimidation of witnesses has occurred in the Polices investigation of the killing of Steven. The statements of the witnesses reek of being 'stimulated' by Police 'input' into the final version. A key witness (witness 14 in the Police report) that actually believes that he witnessed the killing had this to state to an independent investigator hired by the Wallace family about the Polices methods of taking statements and the influence he felt was being exerted by the Police investigators on him to change his very clear recollection of the killing;
'The Police were trying to tell me when I was being interviewed by them that he the guy was running towards them at the time that he was shot....
convinced that this guy didn't have to be shot and could
have been disarmed or arrested without being
...They the Police could easily have backed out, walked away and kept a watch on the guy, just as the female police officer had done...
...He was breaking windows he didn't need to be shot...'
20. In the recent Taranaki rape case, the crucial evidence that I obtained and other evidence which was finally obtained by the Police for disclosure to the defence, (after legal proceedings were to be filed forcing further investigation by the Police), lead the accused in that case to be discharged after the complainant admitted during cross examination on the first day of the trial that she had lied several times to the Police, and had mislead the Court. The Police actually knew that the complainant was lying before the trial but continued in any event. And we would trust the Police to investigate their own?
21. Another crucial witness, (witness 4 in the Police report) has this to say about the movements of Steven and the Killer and his accomplice just before Steven was riddled with bullets from the Killers Glock pistol;
'It appeared to me that he was outside
Thelma's Lotto and bookshop but in the middle of the
....I could not see this person holding anything in their arms. I couldn't really make out his clothing but I think he was wearing jeans and a top that had two different colours on it. I think it was definitely a dark colour with some sort of stripe running down the front of it.
...I could see two people on the right hand side of this person outside Peter Buddens chemist.
...One of these persons had their arms up and was pointing an object at the guy in the middle of the road. I couldn't tell exactly what he had in his hands at this stage though...
....The guy in the middle of the road was walking at a speed I would describe as moderate. It wasn't slow, but not a pace that he would have been out of place if he walked like that up town on a shopping day...
...The guy didn't really walk towards the Police, he seemed to be walking up the centre line..
...After the shots were fired the guy on the road walked two to three steps then fell to his knees, then face down on the road..
...Detective Adlam has asked me about the demeanour of the person in the street. They looked like as they were just walking along. I couldn't really say anything else, to my mind he was walking down the street...
...At the point that the guy was shot he was just still walking down the road...
...the whole incident only probably lasted thirty seconds from the time that I saw it first...
22. This witness, a taxi driver, left the scene immediately at speed and returned to new Plymouth, which is a few Kilometres away. On his trip to New Plymouth he passed two Police Cars and a dog van travelling to Waitara to deal with what they thought was a situation under control, but requiring assistance. The Police devalue the worth of this witness by stating that he was not wearing his glasses. However importantly he gives a very accurate description of what Steven was wearing at the time that Steven was gunned down in the middle of an extremely well lit street by ABBOT'S Glock.
23. Another witness, another taxi driver has this to state about the position of the bat in relation to Steven's body when he was confronted by the Police;
'when he (Steven) was confronted by the
Officers he held the bat in his right hand, hanging down by
....I did not see the offender in the possession of the baseball bat when he was on the ground....'
24. The witness, (Witness 14 in the Police report) which had something to say about the Police attempting to influence his evidence as dictated in paragraph 19 of my report, also did obviously see the killing. But in the statement that the Police allegedly took from him, and which was filed in the report of Detective Inspector Pearce's report at page 92, the Police statement states that the witness stated;
'I saw two officers get
out of the vehicle closest to me. I drove down a bit closer.
I was just about at the Grey Street intersection. The guy's
vehicle was directly opposite mine. The next thing I heard
was a Police Officer say "I'm armed, I've got a gun". Next
minute I heard one shot fire then a double shot and then a
double shot. So there was 5 shots all told go off.
'I lost sight of the guy when he headed towards the Police vehicle at the end of Domett Street. I don't know what he did down there as the lights from the car prevented me from seeing anything..'
25. It is not absolutely clear from this statement whether the witness saw the killing or not. Although I would argue that the statement does not state that the witness did not see the killing. However the witness was clear in his statement to the independent investigator that he saw the killing of Steven by ABBOT. For the record witness 14 states in the statement he gave the private investigator hired by the Wallace family the following in relation to what he clearly saw. I might add that I have met this witness and he greatly impressed me as being credible.
'As he (Steven) turned to face them, a
male Officer yelled out to him, "stop I'm armed I've got a
Just as the Police Officer finished saying the word gun, they shot him. The Police fired five shots...
....it was boom-boom-boom-boom-boom
...I mean he the guy never had an option of getting anywhere
...I was only just out of my car and was walking to the Binn Inn carpark area when this all happened. I hadn't even stopped walking'
26. However the report of Detective BR Pearce clearly infers that it was only witness 3, a friend of the Killer that had the 'grandstand view' of the scene as it unfolded. This is clearly not true. Witness 14 did actually see the killing at close range but the Police statement is purposefully obfuscatory. You must remember that Detective Inspector Pearce had sought to diminish the crucial evidence of the taxi driver that was not wearing his glasses but who had accurately described what Steven was wearing and had alleged that he had seen everything as it unfolded at paragraph 16 of my report. The Detective Inspector does not mention whether any other of the witnesses wore glasses. At page 107 of Detective Inspector Pearce's report he states quite wrongly (in other words where is witness 14);
'As far as has been established, with the exception of witness 4, (paragraph 8.26), Witness 3 is the only independent witness outside of Constables B and C to the actual shooting. Other witnesses including witness 6, saw events leading up to and/or immediately following the shooting but they did not actually witness the shooting. Witness 3 was certainly the closest to the event as witness 4's view was approximately 115 metres distant to the point where WALLACE was shot'.
27. For a number of reasons I am very uncomfortable about witness 3's evidence and the reliance of the Police on the evidence. Firstly the witness is a friend of the Killer and therefore any significant variation in evidence from a truly independent witness must raise alarms as to collusion or just an interest to protect a friend. Secondly the evidence of this witness seeks to in some ways 'assist' the evidence of the killer ABBOT and his accomplice JASON DOMBROSKI. Unbelievably Detective Inspector Pearce refers to the evidence of JASON DOMBROSKI and the female Police Officer as also being 'independent'.
28. In any event witness 3's evidence even if taken at its best does not exculpate the killer extensively, and I feel may not be accepted by a jury as being 'uninfluenced' by his friendship with the killer. For a start the Police revisited the witness and 'refreshed his memory'. What would have made the Police realise that this witness had something more to say? Clairvoyancy or a hole in the exculpatory evidence the Police were inventing that needed filling? The Police did not do this to any other witnesses involved that had seen the killing. They have not re-interviewed witness 14. In his initial statement Witness 3, (the Killers friend) stated to the Police;
'At this time constable A was standing
towards the middle of the road going towards this guy and
the guy was walking towards Constable A...
....Constable A fired a single shot. To me it looked like a warning shot. It was the angle of constable A's arm or gun that made me think that.
...After that shot the guy didn't stop, he kept towards Constable A yelling and menacing him with the object, whatever it was. He sidled around to my right or it would have been Constable A's left, it was like two guys in a boxing ring. He appeared to sidle around to get a better shot at Constable A. The Constable fired three shots at him and he fell down on the road. When the Constable fired I think that he would have been 4 or 5 yards away'
29. Clearly none of the other witnesses, (4 and 14) that saw the killing recollect this 'sidling' around by Steven of the Killer or the Killer of Steven. Look at the distance when the shots were fired. Steven would have had to have thrown the bat at the Killer. The Killer states that Steven had already thrown away his golf club when first confronted. In fact even the statements of the Killer and his accomplices do not report this 'sidling' around like in a boxing ring. However the tone of the comments of this witness is about the 'menacing threatening' attitude of Steven just before he was shot. Importantly though, where is the life threatening lunge by Steven with the bat that is reported by the killer and his accomplices. The evidence of witness 3 is that the killer fired the lethal bullets when Steven was 'acting in a menacing manner' not a life-threatening manner. If witness 3's evidence is accepted then Steven was killed for 'sidling' around. Is that an appropriate response by a trained AOS marksman? Objectively, was this a life-threatening situation? Was the application of lethal force by the killer in these circumstances murder, not manslaughter?
30. In fact the revisit by the Police to this witness was to fill a hole. The hole was to explain that the Police did take some action to assist Steven when he was dying. Once again this 'evidence' was to exculpate the Killer and his accomplices from the disgraceful deliberate callous treatment of a dying man as if inspecting the kill which was witnessed by truly independent witnesses. See paragraph 8 of my report. Of interest witness 14 states even in the Police statement taken;
'I remember Steven lying there on his own for quite some time. Steven was yelling out in pain for quite a while then he just stopped. No one went near him. They put the blanket on him as the ambulance came around the corner'
31. Whereas witness 3 states in his second statement to the Police covering what the Killer and his accomplices had done just after the shooting;
'The first time I saw the woman constable,
Constable C, she was moving towards the patrol car. She put
rubber gloves on her hands. She had a pad of some sort and
she went to the victim and placed it on the
....I can recall when the victim was on the ground that Constable B asked him if his name was? I can't recall the name he used but Constable B asked him using a name. Constable B was also telling the victim to settle down, calm down and lay still.
...These last couple of points I made have come to me since I made the first statement to Police. I didn't think of them at the time'
32. Witness 11 of the Police report states in relation to the actions of the Police after the shooting;
'He was lying on his tummy groaning then he
got up on all fours and did some more groaning. I offered a
blanket to keep the guy warm he was groaning in pain I
couldn't hear any words he was saying. I called out and
offered the blanket to two Policemen who were directly
across the road from me.
....I was told not to bother "its still too dangerous" then witness 10 said to constable A who was in the middle of the Road walking towards us. Witness 10 said you didn't have to shoot the poor guy 4 or 5 times did you?... Constable A said 'you should go to school and learn how to count' then witness 10 said where's the ambulance. This was about 10 or 15 minutes later. They said it will be here in a minute. Then witness 10 said, 'come on, do something for the guy, at least give him a blanket'. The guy on the ground was still moving around. He was still doing the odd groan but not much full stop. This was after about 10 minutes after. The tall skinny guy who I had seen with the gun said, 'well have you got one'. I then ran quickly inside and got a blanket from the hot water cupboard. Then one of them came over to the gate and got it from me, and he said to me 'do you want it back'. I said no it doesn't worry me. The police got the blanket and walked over to the guy in the middle of the road. He lifted his shirt up and looked at his back. He was lying on his stomach. There appeared to be no movement at this stage. His back was left exposed and he put the blanket over the lower part of his body..
33. Importantly Constable C states in her statement in relation to the issue of first aid pads, which is entirely inconsistent with what witness 3 states at paragraph 31 of my report;
PRESTIDGE went to check on the injured person on the
I was requested to see if we had any pads or anything to use on the injured person but there was none about. Meanwhile the ambulance arrived'
34. Witness 3 also states in his second statement that he clearly heard Constable B talk to the injured man in a 'nice-ish' manner as is recorded in paragraph 31 of my report. But earlier in his initial statement Witness 3 states as to his hearing in general when a man (Steven) was allegedly shouting ;
'He had a man's voice, he was looking towards Peter Buddens chemist shop yelling, my ears are not the best but he seemed in a rage. The tone of the voice was obscenities and that.'
35. I believe that a check should be made of the telephone records of both the Killer and his accomplices and witness 3, and witness 3's wife who is witness 6, to see how much contact occurred between the parties after the shooting before statements were made to the police. Such records can be kept up to 5 years.
36. Witness 6 is clearly 'influenced' in the statement. The best evidence of this will become apparent later in this report. The Killer alleges that he marked the spot where he shot Steven from, as this was AOS procedure, but from the where the shells landed on the road, the Police admit that the Killer fired his lethal fusillade some distance from this spot he allegedly marked. Remember the comments made by the Killer as he was moving about in the middle of the road after the shooting, (see paragraph 32 of my report) that a witness needed to go back to school to learn to count. Of a matter of inference which jury member would not doubt the Killer's story that he marked the spot in keeping with AOS procedure, when he broke every other rule, and the spot marked was completely wrong. To further substantiate that the Killer had in fact marked a spot witness 6, the wife of witness 3, the killer's friend, states in relation to the Killer marking a spot and not moving;
'At this stage
Constable A was standing still. He was telling the guy to
stay still. Constable A didn't move from the spot where he
was standing for a good ten or fifteen
....the place where Constable A had been marked so he moved back onto the footpath....'
37. The point I make is this. What woman in her 60's after a young man had been gunned down would note that the Killer stood still and didn't move, and secondly that she would notice that he moved only after the AOS procedure had been followed. It defies credibility.
38. Of importance to the credibility of witness 3 and 6's testimony witness 3 and 6 are both in their 60,s and have failing eyesight. Witness 3, it is known, has particularly bad eyesight. The Police report never reports this, does it?
39. As importantly to credibility of the evidence of witness 3 and the 'sidling' around of the killer and Steven of each other all other witnesses remember the shots going off 'boom, (a one second break if that), and then 'Boom, boom, boom, boom'. Realistically how much 'menacing intimidating sidling' can occur in a second at the most between the first (alleged warning shot), and the next series of shots which immediately followed each other. I believe that the evidence reeks of construction and collusion. Such acts constitute an offence under the Crimes Act. See section 116 and 117 of the Crimes Act 1961.
39. Without turning at this point to the evidence of the Killer and his accomplices, which has limited value in the adversary system of Justice that a prosecutor operates under in this country, I submit that there is evidence in my report (obtained from the Police report and other sources) which on its face value makes out that the killer and the accomplices (and witnesses which favour the Police story), are not telling the truth, (or are otherwise wrong) about many aspects of the actions of the various individuals before the killing. Of course unlike the Police I would prefer a jury to decide on the truth of what evidence either acquits or convicts the Killer and his accomplice.
41. I submit that that the reason for the deception or inaccuracy is to hide the intent of approaching Steven that night in the main street of Waitara with the full knowledge that the Killer and his accomplices were provoking an unarmed man who could never win a confrontation or even hurt 3 heavily armed professionally trained Police Officers. If that can be established at trial then the killer is guilty of murder or in the alternative manslaughter.
42. The Police report is full of predisposition that Steven Wallace might have done this or might have done that. It ignores that Steven Wallace when confronted by the Police had actually not injured a person and according to the Police actually thrown away one of the clubs. It ignores that certain witnesses did not see Steven acting dangerously immediately before he was killed. But the real important questions are:
* Does the conclusions of the report ignore evidence which makes out a prima facie case that the killer KEITH ABBOT and his accomplices either murdered, or in the alternative unlawfully killed Steven James Wallace?
* Is there other evidence available or has not yet been found which would further inculpate the Killer and his accomplices in the murder/manslaughter of Steven James Wallace?
* Should there be a fully independent investigation by way of commission of inquiry into the Killing of Steven James Wallace of Waitara?
* Should the Wallace family's interests and the interests of all New Zealanders be served by the Killer and his accomplices facing a criminal trial if any prosecution can make out a prima facie case that Steven James Wallace was killed unlawfully?
* If a prosecution or an independent commission of inquiry does not eventuate is it not setting in concrete that a copycat situation (as the Police dictate it has occurred, ignoring other independent evidence to the contrary), would be an absolute defence to a murder or manslaughter charge being brought? In other words because someone has alleged that they are scared by another person they have the right to kill them with 4 or five shots?
* Should the Killer be sacked from the AOS?
C THE MOTIVE AND METHODOLGY OF THIS REPORT
43. I believe that the Police Complaints Authority is powerless to observe that the Police properly investigate any serious allegations against Police Officers. In this case I believe that the Police have failed to properly investigate the killing and have gone about the process of exculpating the would-be accused by ignoring evidence which makes out a prima facie case that the would-be accused are guilty of murder or manslaughter.
44. I believe that the Police have further omitted to seek other evidence which would significantly destroy the credibility of the evidence of the killer and his accomplices. I believe that the Police would charge you or I with murder or manslaughter based on the same facts and would have completed the investigation without omitting to seek the evidence I have either found or now seek, to further establish the likely motive of the killer and his accomplices.
45. I believe that if nothing is done to see that justice is manifestly seen to be done in the public transparent arena by an independent inquiry, or a prosecution if the evidence presents itself establishing a crime to a prima facie standard, then the Police will be omnipotent and basically 'out of control' in a free and democratic society. This case will be seen as inventing an entirely subjective test to self-defence as precedent. In other words as long as the killer thought he 'might get hurt' when he shot his 'would be assailant' five times, no crime has been committed. That is not the law at the moment in New Zealand. That is if you are not a Police Officer.
46. Nothing happened in the scurrilous shooting of Daniel Houpapa. I submit to the reader that that inaction by our allegedly free and democratic society set in motion the precedent that Police were virtually untouchable when they killed unarmed citizens. The unnecessary killing of Steven Wallace has set the precedent in his tombstone. It will be known as the ABBOT defence.
47. Just imagine the following scenario where the ABBOT defence could be used. Two neighbours had been known to quarrel. One neighbour when heavily intoxicated threw rocks through the windows of another neighbour. The neighbour with the broken windows knew that the Police were on there way, (in fact just minutes away), but instead of waiting for the Police, he and two friends that happened to be visiting at the time calmly loaded pistol's, (because the three of them were allegedly scared of the heavily intoxicated allegedly bat wielding neighbour without the assurance of a gun), and promoted a confrontation on the footpath wherein one of them gunned down the drunken neighbour with a fusillade of five shots.
48. Importantly the first shot disarming the drunken allegedly bat wielding neighbour. The other shots making sure that he would not get up again. The shooter was overheard by a witness before the shooting stating 'I have been after you (neighbour's name), for a long time' and after the shooting the shooter stated to another witness who reacted to the barbaric shooting by saying 'why did you have to shoot him 4 or 5 times' with the comment 'You want to go back to school and learn to count'. Then the shooter and his accomplices stopped other neighbours coming to the immediate aid of the stricken dying neighbour. Get the picture?
49. What do you think would be the outcome of a Police investigation with those facts having been found to be correct by independent corroboration? But finally add the evidence that some witnesses say they saw the neighbour with the bat not acting aggressively towards the neighbour that shot him at the time that he was shot.
50. As aforesaid and can not be gainsaid, a significant volume of the evidence obtained by the Police and placed in the Police report of Detective Inspector BR Pearce is largely irrelevant and designed to confuse and excuse. I will in this report seek to submit by way of general submission that the evidence now available that can be submitted to a Court establishes that the action of killing Steven was a breach of the murder and/or alternatively manslaughter provisions of the Crimes Act 1961.
51. If at the end of this report you agree that the evidence establishes to the prima facie standard that a case has been made that Steven was either murdered or killed unlawfully then you can place your vote in the box marked 'commit to trial' and then in either the box 'murder' or 'manslaughter' or both. If you do not wish to place a vote in any of these boxes but wish that the Minister of Justice order an independent inquiry, then you can vote accordingly in the box marked 'Independent inquiry'. If you feel that the Killer should be sacked form the AOS then you can tick that box. Naturally if you want to vote for any or all of the suggestions then you can.
52. The reason why there is no vote for 'not committing' is because the site has already had close to one thousand hits prior to Friday, and it is my belief that 'interested parties' may attempt to hijack the votes. I have had numerous legal threats that I will not have a shirt come Monday once certain papers have sued the 'clothes of my back'. What reactionary bulldust is this from the media?
53. I believe that once you the reader have seen the evidence, and have been told what the Police have omitted to have done, then you will want to know whether the Killer lives in your town or city, and whether you or your relative's or friends are safe from the man the local media titled 'Keith the chief' before the killing because he literally was in charge of Waitara. He was the man that kept Waitara, its people and its buildings safe from fire, theft, and angry young men smashing shop front windows with lightweight sporting equipment. His preferred weapon of enforcement in this 'lifesaving and life threatening' job. A Glock 17 at 3 to 5 metres.
54. Did "Keith the chief" think he was a one-man law? A law unto himself. A man capable of making instant decisions, and did he just get this one wrong when he broke all of AOS procedure? Is that not prima facie manslaughter, as the death was preventable? After all the Police are only allowed to carry and use guns if the use is lawful. If ABBOT broke AOS procedure, how is the use of the gun to kill lawful? What could have possibly motivated "Keith the chief" to kill a man he thought was Dave? Dave was a man allegedly that a witness heard 'a cop state he had been after for a long time'. Was that cop who said that ABBOT?
55. Was the motive behind the killing the fact that the killer ABBOT was the chief of the local fire brigade as well the local AOS 'man on the ground' with an official AOS pager and Steven had the audacity to break the windows to 'Keith the Chief's' brand spanking new fire station building and then Steven proceeded to attack 'Keith's cop shop' raining blows to the windows shattering the locals respect for 'Keith the chief'. Was "Keith the Chief" sober. There are rumours that Keith had had a tipple or two before he heard the tinkling of broken glass. The Police never tested ABBOT for alcohol after the shooting. There was a party at 'Keith the Chiefs' fire station that went on into the early morning hours of 30 April 2000. Did ABBOT visit that night and drink? Was he drunk when he gunned down Steven? The Police have never released the phone records of ABBOT and the fire station to see if he phoned home, or the station that night. Get the picture?
56. ABBOT states that he felt that he could not have retreated that night because he could not have outran his assailant. But at that time he thought his assailant was David Toa, a man virtually ABBOT'S age, of 167cm or approximately 5'7" height. At reasonably close distance to Steven in a well-lit street, ABBOT still thought that Steven was in fact a man of nearly 40. ABBOT ignored all procedure and promoted the confrontation. ABBOT shot five shots even though the first shot that is alleged to have struck Steven would have disarmed Steven as it struck him in the arm. ABBOT then marked a spot he allegedly immediately stood still in that was subsequently found to be wrong by several metres. Was all of the above because ABBOT was drunk? Why did ABBOT ring other AOS officers immediately following the shooting? Why is a man who has been in the Police force for 20 odd years still a constable? What information is hidden in the Police's files on ABBOTS past?
57. It is stated by the Wallace family that they are aware of a petition that was raised by local families seeking that the Police remove ABBOT from Waitara after an incident just before the shooting of Steven wherein ABBOT allegedly severely assaulted a youth of 15 years.
58. Just recently a 'cop gone bad' was convicted of rape. There have been many other instances of criminal behaviour of police Officers. The recently convicted cop had earlier been acquitted of rape, only to stay in the force to rape again. We can not expect that the Police do not fairly reflect our society. There will be as many bad eggs as a percentage in the force as there are in any other walk of life. I know that I have met a few, as no doubt has every New Zealander that has lived a little.
59. Effectively some indication of persons not impressed with the evidence contained in this report will be indicated by the overall number of hits on the site compared with votes cast. The Police will say that I am doing this for my business carreer. What career? I am doing this for the same reasons I did the Mark Middleton campaign, the odometer campaign, my Accident Compensation campaign. I care about what goes on in New Zealand at the present moment. I believe that the Politicians are lackeys of the people that actually support them financially, not the people that actually vote for them and sometimes actually put faith in what they have to say. Do you believe that the people that paid in excess of a million dollars into the ACT parties coffers believed what ACT had to say or that the money was for the sole purpose of 'influence'. If it was not for influence then why come up with an elaborate scheme of disguising the true donor's. After reading this report you must ask yourself why the Politicians have been so quiet over this awful killing and insidious investigation.
60. I know that the Police will say that I should not release the picture of the Killer of Steven. But again what double standards are these. Every New Zealander should remember the Police's and the media's treatment of Scott Watson when Watson was only a 'suspect'. Now look at what happened in that case. What are the Police truly scared of? The Killer's past treatment of certain types of people becoming known? The Police can not state with any credibility that the whanau of Steven are a threat or any people from Waitara because everyone in Waitara knows who has left town in a hurry.
D THE PROSECUTIONS CASE TO DATE. (The preliminary report for all New Zealanders consideration). A further report will be made available in due course.
61. The prosecutions case to date relies heavily on the Police evidence and the evidence that has been obtained by the family. The actual evidence that is important is not complex nor in real doubt. The issue of weight to be attached to the evidence is to be left to the jury. The prosecution can only seek to bring evidence that it feels serves its purpose. The Police regularly do this all of the time. It is in fact the way the system works. The Police can not (should not) ignore evidence which exculpates the accused but the Police can prefer certain evidence to that of other persons. Such instances are those which see an accused and accomplices give a statement to the Police, which does not match the evidence of several, (or even one) independent witness to the event.
The evidence of witnesses 4 and 14 prima facie remove self-defence submission/finding by Detective Inspector BR Pearce
62. The Police should and do bring charges in certain instances where serious offending is made out by only one witness even when that person might not be considered independent. Such cases are rapes and vicious assaults, and of course murders. In the simplest terms witness 4 and 14's evidence if accepted as being truthful destroy the Killer's protestations that he acted in self defence, and prima facie, I would be happy swearing an information pursuant to the Crimes Act provisions for murder based on this evidence. Witness 11's evidence as to the statements and actions of the Killer and his accomplices make out that the killer and his accomplices had apparent motive to kill the man they thought was Dave. Who says that the Killer and DOMBROSKI aren't just wicked men?
Witness 3 substantiates 'life not threatened'
63. Witness 3's account even though suspicious where it attempts to exculpate the Killer and his accomplices makes out prima facie that the Killer shot Steven at a reasonably distant range when the two were circling and Steven had not made the virtual attack/lunge alleged by the Killer. What was the Killer's accomplice doing at this time when Steven was allegedly circling the Killer? Preparing to use pepper spray on Steven? About to surprise Steven from behind, or use his Police issue baton to subdue or disarm Steven? And where was Constable C?
64. Interestingly the Killer's accomplice JASON DOMBROSKI states in relation to the use or worth of these alternative methods of subduing Steven that;
'I do not think that pepper spray would ever have been an option as we would not have been able to get close. For the same reason a baton would not have been an option either. I also think that even if a Police dog had been present it would not have been able to have been deployed as the offender would have killed it with the bat'
65. This evidence by DOMBROSKI is a contraindication with the facts. Witnesses 3, 4, and 14 state that they saw both Police Officers within a reasonably close distance to Steven before the Killer shot Steven five times. DOMBROSKI'S evidence also inculpates both him and the Killer as to their state of mind as to the worth of the man's life that they thought they were both dealing with. Police dogs are expendable but in any event are hardly ever killed in action considering the great number of similar incidents that they deal with every day. If this was the case, why was a Police dog wagon only moments away?
66. This evidence of DOMBROSKI would not be upheld as reasonable by a Police expert witness in the way of a dog handler. Besides DOMBROSKI and the killer allege that the killing was necessary because of the close proximity of the offender alleged. The television programme 60 Minutes will show how any offender could have been taken down by one cop let alone three.
67. Further the entire Police report does not state what the other two Police Officers present were doing while allegedly Steven would 'beat ABBOT to death'. Of importance to inference as to intent to use the gun, why was not the third officer attempting to ring Steven and effectively surprise him from behind. Additionally the Police report does not establish whether the Police armoury, or indeed any of the cars had body armour like that used in riots. What is the offensive/defensive capability of three highly trained Police personnel against a drunken youth even if he had a metal lightweight bat?
68. Were their concerns reasonable to confront Steven from the outset with the clear intention to use lethal force if Steven acted in any way aggressively? . After all Steven had been acting aggressively and all of the Police present knew that. Is that possibly a fantastic excuse to kill somebody you had been after for some time?
69. The Police report, fundamentally wrongly seeks to diminish the offensive and defensive capability of the three Police Officers present by purporting that the Killer was unaware of the presence of Constable C. This finding relies on the statement of the Killer which states;
'At this stage I recall that
constable B making a statement to the effect that the
offender was made. At this stage my role was to be with
constable B and back him up. I did not realise that there
was another person in the car that came from New
...Whenever there is a person with a weapon who is behaving threateningly it is common for Police to arm themselves..
.....The fact is that it ran through my mind given that Waitara is an isolated township some distance from further back up I believed that Constable B was on his own'
70. This is clearly an untrue statement by the killer as to the killer's knowledge of the existence of Constable C and the ability of the three of them to be deployed to disarm the exhausted and drunken Steven. Constable C records in her statement to the Police the following knowledge of the Killer of her existence before the Killer went to get the gun to kill Steven;
'That is when I saw Constable A run across the road on Domett Street and run around to the back of the Police Station. I drove around to the back of the police as well I then called out to Constable A and asked him what he wanted me to do. Constable A told me to drive up and keep obs on the guy and give sitreps.
71. Constable C's sitreps and Constable A's knowledge of them are detailed in Constable B's statement as well;
'Constable A said that
he thought the offender may have been witness 2 (David Toa).
We were also listening to Constable C's radio transmissions
as to the whereabouts of the offender..
...Constable A and myself then left the Waitara station in the Waitara car. I was driving. As we were leaving I heard Constable C say over the radio that the offender had got back into his car and was driving up McLean Street'
72. As to the Killers contention that he was unaware of the existence of Constable C, supported wrongly by Detective Inspector BR Pearce, it should be further noted that Constable B had to drive around Constable C's patrol car when going to confront Steven with A in the passengers seat listening to C's commentary about the whereabouts of the man called Dave which the Killer and Dombroski had been after for sometime.
73. Of great importance to the outcome of the Police's investigation Detective Inspector BR Pearce records completely wrongly but based on the false evidence of the Killer;
'Of considerable relevance, Constable A records that he was not aware of that Constable C was even in Waitara and considered that he and Constable B were alone. It appears that Constable A did not register the presence of Constable C's patrol car as they were en route, and if he did, associated it only with Constable B's transport to Waitara'
74. The Detective Inspector records that the belief by the Killer was crucial to the exculpation of self defence in that the Killer believed that it was just 2 armed police officers on to one exhausted drunken Steven. Why would a lie about something be so important? But more importantly why would Detective Inspector BR Pearce uphold the value of an obvious lie? I submit because the lie was crucial to uphold the killers alleged belief that he was in real danger, and why he had not instructed C to assist in the disarming of the drunken Steven.
75. The Detective Inspector goes on to record further falsehoods about the impossibility of the cordoning off of Steven and his car in that Steven might decamp the scene. Steven already had done so and had returned to break windows. Steven was there to break windows. Witness 14 followed Steven and states that Steven was obviously not interested in people. According to evidence gathered by Police, Steven had a lot of opportunity to hurt people. The evidence of witnesses 4 and 14 state that Steven was not that interested in the people. Witness 3 states that Steven was menacing and wouldn't have 'shook the hand' of ABBOT. That is not 'literally life threatening'. I have known my five foot five partner to become enraged and threaten me with blue murder 'circling' around me in a menacing manner. Thankfully I do not have the disposition to shoot her.
76. The Police knew that Stevens's car had flat tyres. What about driving their cars in behind Stevens? If they couldn't contain Steven and weren't there to arrest Steven, and didn't have a plan except that if Steven had been aggressive they were going to shoot Steven as a means of protection, why confront Steven at all until further assistance arrived? Because they had been after David Toa for a long time and would love the opportunity to kill him if an opportunity presented? Obviously this opportunity would not present itself if additional Police arrived with a dog wagon!!! Detective Inspector BR Pearce attempts to deal with this very real dilemma for the defence of the Killer in the following manner;
'The reality facing constables A,
B, and C was that they had no prospect of effectively
cordoning the offender and, at best, even if other patrols
could have been despatched some limited support was at least
5 to 6 minutes away and in the case of the dog patrol 10 to
15 minutes away.
...Each of these constables had experienced first hand the behaviour and extremely aggressive demeanour of this offender. Constables A and B, independently of each other and entirely without collaboration formed their own unequivocal opinion that they needed to uplift firearms from the Waitara Police Station. The reason of each officer arming himself with firearms was not with the intent of killing or injuring the offender but to provide himself with an appropriate level of protection'
77. Who needs protection of guns from a drunk tin bat wielding youth who was busy attacking windows when you are 400 metres away in the Waitara Police station awaiting the arrival of two further Police cars and a dog wagon which was due to arrive in minutes? The truth of the matter is you don't. Would you need protection from such a person if there were three of you with a pair of two tonne cars, pepper spray, batons, handcuffs, and who knows what else present at your disposal? Body Armour? No you wouldn't need the protection of guns. Now the omission's by the Killer start to become important in disclosing a plan to kill, rather than an error in judgment leading to manslaughter.
78. The Police report completely ignores to investigate the other calls that could have been made by the Killer to Dombroski on his mobile phone to collude about getting David Toa. DOMBROSKI asked Police COMS to contact the Killer and ask him to attend at the Waitara Police station. I believe that it is inconceivable that B was not contacted by the Killer, or whilst at the Police station The Killer and his accomplice did not plan what they intended to do when they confronted Steven.
79. The Police ignore to inform the public in the report of BR Pearce that all AOS operatives have pagers. What information was transferred down that pager and to whom? Most Police Officers carry mobile phones on their person for the purpose of making personal phone calls. It is quite possible that Dombroski rang the Killer or vice versa on their mobiles. If they had done so how long were the calls. Had the Killer phoned the Police and spoken to other officers about the position of the dogs. The Killer used his mobile phone after the killing to talk to other cops. The Police report omits to disclose if they checked this possibility. The only evidence that the two officers did not collude was from the Officers themselves. Even if they did not contact each other enroute, they could have planned to kill at the station where they talked about who they thought Steven was. The only evidence that states that they both independently wanted guns was from the Police. Why didn't C get a gun? This infers that the agreement to get guns was formulated in the station and not as alleged independently. Irrelevant of what caused the two officers to allegedly get guns, whilst at the Police station all three officers in attendance at Waitara knew of the presence of each other. They knew it was 3 on to one.
80. If you accept the evidence of witnesses 3, 4, 11, and 14, the plan appeared to fit the possible theory that the Killer intended to kill David Toa. And the plan was carried out in an execution style. Five rounds just to be absolutely certain, and then when he was dying in the street, an inspection of the handiwork, whilst leaving Steven to die. Was the call by the Killer to his fellow AOS members just after the shooting because he was not certain of his ground as to a solid defence due to the comments of several witnesses about the way in which Steven was shot? Let us look at where the bullets entered and exited Stevens's arms and torso.
81. I am not going to make any comment about the place the bullets entered and exited apart from to say that it is possible that Steven was shot five times and not four. That would mean that there was never a warning shot at all. This would be in keeping with the evidence of witnesses 4 and 14. And indeed in keeping with AOS procedure, and the statement that the Killer had been after 'Dave' and the actions of the Killer after the shooting. Please note that Steven was shot once in the back in an upward angle. This would not be possible from 3 metres even if the killer had been lying on the ground. However it is possible if the Killer was shooting downwards and the victim was on the ground. Same as the shot through the arm. In any event I expect how the bullets hit Steven and from what angle with never be safely known. The only real certainty is that Steven was literally riddled with bullets by the Killer.
Murder as against manslaughter
83. For the purpose of this preliminary or initial report I will not delve too much into the law as to what constitutes the difference between murder and manslaughter other than to say that murder is best described as a purposeful killing whereas manslaughter is described as a unintentional killing, but a killing that could have been prevented, and was promoted by unreasonable or grossly negligent behaviour. However in a later report after my investigations are concluded I will file an additional report on this site just as I am about to swear information against the Killer for the Murder/manslaughter of Steven. That report will be in-depth and contain the evidence and the law upon which I will rely to charge the Killer. I will send that report to the Solicitor General as I have no doubt that the Police will attempt to obtain a stay pursuant to s173 of the Summary Proceedings Act 1957.
84. The Police will no doubt allege that I am already biased and I would have to be honest and say that I am rightly and properly influenced by the evidence of witnesses 3, 4, 11, and 14 and I might add other evidence to a lesser extent, and the lies of the killer, (of which I am sure there will be more discovered), that a prima facie case can be made out that KEITH ABBOT murdered Steven.
87. I am trying to raise monies to help the Wallace family in their quest for an independent inquiry, and/or if that does not eventuate, for the possibility to bring a private prosecution. I hope that you can assist. Below are some ways in which you might consider helping see justice done as it would be done if you or I had shot someone in the manner Steven was shot. This can only be done in public, by inquiry or in Court. After all in a free and democratic society, there should be only ever one law for all. This report does not condone the drunken excesses of Steven Wallace.