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Andrew Hodson took gun from parents' home after murders, court told

Date

Adam Cooper

Investigators still believe former detective Paul Dale ordered the murder of police informer Terence Hodson.

On the last day of evidence at the inquest into the deaths of Hodson and his wife, Christine, who were killed at their Kew home in May 2004 during Melbourne's underworld war, the Coroners Court heard police maintained the same theory as five years ago, when Mr Dale was charged with Hodson's murder.

Detective Senior Sergeant Boris Buick, who is leading the still-active investigation, said police believed Mr Dale asked underworld boss Carl Williams to have Terence Hodson killed and that Williams had gun-for-hire Rodney Collins carry out the hit.

"There is nothing to suggest that working theory is incorrect," Detective Senior Sergeant Buick told the court on Friday.

Terence Hodson had agreed to give evidence against alleged police corruption over the 2003 burglary of an Oakleigh drug house when he was killed.

Mr Dale, a former drug squad detective, and Collins were in 2009 charged with murdering Terence Hodson. Collins was also charged with killing Mrs Hodson.

The cases against both men collapsed when Williams was bashed to death in prison in 2010.

Williams had told police he ordered Terence Hodson’s murder on Mr Dale’s behalf.

Mr Dale and Collins, who is serving a jail sentence for an unrelated double murder, deny involvement in the Hodson murders. Both men refused to give evidence at the inquest.

State coroner Ian Gray adjourned the inquest to November, when closing submissions will be made. Judge Gray said there was still a $1 million reward for information that led to a conviction.

The inquest heard earlier on Friday that the Hodsons' son, Andrew, took a gun from his parents' home for protection after he and sister Mandy found their parents' bodies.

Andrew Hodson said he established that the gun his father used for protection was not used in the murders because a used .22 cartridge his sister found near the bodies did not match the calibre of his father's pistol, and he decided against handing it over to police.

"You're not exactly talking about cleanskins. I had a criminal record, my family had criminal records. You find your parents face-down with bullets in them and the amount of people who had died at the time, wouldn't you think it's a wise choice to protect yourself?" he said while giving evidence via video link.

"They had been executed, basically, and I didn't know if they [his parents' killer, or killers] were going to come after me, come after my sisters. And if they did come after me, at least I had something to protect myself with."

Andrew Hodson said he passed the gun to police several days after the murders. A magistrate later imposed a suspended sentence on him for possessing the gun.

The inquest heard police considered Andrew Hodson a suspect in the murders but cleared him of any responsibility.

Also on Friday, the inquest heard Andrew Hodson learnt his father was a police informer from gang boss Tony Mokbel, while the two men were in jail together. Andrew Hodson admitted he used to "indirectly" sell drugs for Mokbel.

"He got word from [then crime patriarch] Lewis Moran that my dad was a dog," Andrew Hodson said of his conversation with Mokbel in jail, some time between August 2001 and May 2002.

He said that later, when out of jail, Mokbel showed him a police document with Terence Hodson's name on it and a registered informer number.

The inquest heard Andrew Hodson was disappointed to learn his father was an informer and the two men fell out over the matter. He said he reconciled with his father well before he was killed.

Hodson said he urged his father to enter the witness protection program for his safety, even though his parents had security systems in their home. He said that had they entered witness protection they would most likely still be alive.

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