Convicted killer 'told police what they wanted to hear'

Murder victim Jake Lasker
Murder victim Jake Lasker

A CONVICTED killer upon whose statement police will rely for the prosecution of a second man for murder told a Toowoomba court yesterday he had simply told police what they wanted to hear.

Max Peter Smith, 22, is serving a life sentence for the murder of Jake Lasker, 19, who was stabbed more than 100 times in his family's Rockville home on November 7, 2012.

After Smith pleaded guilty to the murder before Toowoomba Supreme Court in November last year, he had been visited in his cell by a policeman and he had eventually made a statement implicating the third friend who was at the Lasker home that afternoon, Kyle Mitchell Dumesny, 20.

Dumesny was charged with the murder in May this year and appeared in custody before Toowoomba Magistrates Court yesterday for a committal hearing during which Smith was cross examined on prison video link.

Smith told the hearing a policeman had given him Dumesny's police statement to read in his cell after he was sentenced.

Asked by Dumesny's barrister Steve Kissick if it had been the investigating officer Detective Senior Constable Jonathon Lee who had given him Dumesny's statement, Smith had replied "Yes".

However, during his evidence yesterday, Det. Lee denied having given Smith the statement though he had been to see him.

Accused Kyle Dumesny
Accused Kyle Dumesny

Det. Lee said he did not know who would have given Smith Dumesny's statement.

Smith said he had little memory of the murder but he thought police wanted him to give his side of the story and thought it would go no further, believing the matter to be closed.

Asked by Mr Kissick if he believed police had fed him leading questions with which he had simply agreed, Smith said "yes" and said he told police what he thought they wanted to hear.

Smith also agreed that early into the interview he had caught on that the police officer wanted him to involve Dumesny in the murder.

Asked what he knew of the practice of leading questions, Det Lee told the court that leading questions were not to be used.

He said he had simply been seeking clarification from Smith as to a number of text messages between Smith and Dumesny recorded on the day of the murder.

Mr Kissick put it to Det Lee that Smith's police statement was "replete with leading questions".

Convicted killer Max Smith
Convicted killer Max Smith

Det Lee said he would term it "clarification".

Det Lee agreed police had a statement from Dumesny soon after the November 2012 murder as well as a record of the text messages, yet, Dumesny had not been charged until May this year.

Asked was that because police didn't have sufficient evidence against Dumesny, Det Lee said he had consulted with senior officers who advised him it would be prudent to obtain a statement from Smith before charging Dumesny.

At the conclusion of the committal hearing, Mr Kissick told the court he conceded there was a prima facie case, albeit "a modest one", against his client and consented to Dumesny being committed to trial.

Acting Magistrate Roger Stark committed Dumesny to stand trial on the charge of murder before Toowoomba Supreme Court at a date to be set.

He was remanded in custody.

Topics:  court editors picks jake lasker killer max peter smith toowoomba

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