A DISTRICT Court judge has been told a decision to hide a container of bullets down a toilet S-bend was “spur of the moment” and was not pre-planned.
The defence has begun submissions in a sentencing hearing into Sharon Strudwick – the woman accused of perverting the course of justice, by disposing of 0.38-calibre ammunition.
The ammunition found down a sewer pipe was the same used in the murder of Senior Constable David Rixon by Strudwick’s former partner, Michael Allan Jacobs, who is serving life in prison.
In a disputed facts hearing, both sides have been arguing over the perversion of the course of justice and whether it was intended to hide evidence from police or whether, as the defence submits, Strudwick feared she would get into trouble for possessing ammunition.
On the stand yesterday in Tamworth District Court, Strudwick was asked what trouble she thought she would get in if police found the bullets.
“I thought that I and James would be connected and put into that investigation,” she replied. “We would have gotten in trouble for it.”
“I wanted to protect myself and James.”
When asked why she didn’t call the police officer about what she had found, she said she couldn’t.
“Because of the way they have treated me, they came after me,” Strudwick said of the investigating police.
“I didn’t trust them.”
Strudwick claimed police or someone else could have put the container of bullets in the garage, because she “couldn’t believe police would miss something”.
Crown prosecutor John Stanhope asked Strudwick if she made a deliberate decision not to tell police.
“I didn’t make a deliberate choice,” she said, adding that she found the container about midnight.
“I was going to seek advice from my mother.”
“When did you come to the view it might have been bullets?” Mr Stanhope said.
“I told you in the car,” she said.
When asked why, if she was going to consult her mother, she didn’t put the bullets in the handbag she was using, Strudwick said she wouldn’t.
“I didn’t want to cart it around with me,” she said.
Strudwick also claimed that a pair of blue latex gloves found in the same handbag from which James took the bullets were planted by someone else.
“Someone put them in there, because that handbag was empty,” she said.
“I clearly remember it was empty.”
The Crown maintains Strudwick was perverting the course of justice by hiding evidence in the murder investigation of Michael Jacobs.
“You chose not to tell police about the package you had located, do you agree?” the prosecutor said.
“Yes,” Strudwick said.
“Did you suspect it could contain bullets?” he said.
“No,” Strudwick said.
In finishing the cross-
examination, the prosecutor asked Strudwick why she rang her son, James, frantically when police were about to raid her house.
“It was your idea for James to place the package into the toilet?” Mr Stanhope said.
“Yes,” she replied.
“And shove it up as far as he can,” he said.
The hearing continues today.