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Moments before Mulrunji Doomadgee’s death in custody, a police liaison officer stood outside the station too frightened to enter. Lloyd Bengaroo was, he told detectives, afraid of seeing something that could get him into trouble. But the investigators never asked why.

“I didn’t take it as a serious proposition,” Detective Inspector Warren Webber told a Federal Court trial more than 11 years after the death.

Det Insp Warren Webber was part of the first team sent to investigate what happened after Mulrunji was arrested by Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley in November 2004. He and another detective interviewed liaison officer Mr Bengaroo in a video re-enactment played to the court.

“You didn’t ask him what he was concerned about seeing?” counsel for the community Chris Ronalds SC asked on Tuesday.

“You didn’t ask him if he’d seen Sen Sgt Hurley do something in the past that raised this concern?”

“No,” Det Insp Webber replied.

A preliminary coroner’s report into Mulrunji’s death led to rioting and an emergency situation being declared on the island.


Read the full article detailing what happened in Court yesterday, as the trial continues in Townsville: