ON April 24, 2007, deep inside the razor wire of Victoria's Barwon Prison, gangland killer Carl Williams finally decided to tell his story about crooked cops and Melbourne's underworld war. Williams is now dead, but his lurid tale echoed from the grave yesterday as his version of history, made in three statements over two years, was read out to a spellbound audience in the Victorian Supreme Court trial of Williams's alleged murderer, Matthew Charles Johnson. Johnson has pleaded not guilty on the basis of self-defence. According to Williams's statements, his relationship with former policeman Paul Dale began nervously. The gangland killer and the policeman were so "paranoid" about each other that they once met in a swimming pool wearing only bathers so that neither could be "wired" with listening devices. But the court heard the dealings between this odd couple would blossom into something far more deadly. Before long, what began as merely secret payments for information escalated to a murder, sanctioned and paid for by Dale, Williams alleged. The tone of the gangland killer's statements are as casual as they are cold. When Williams heard that the hitman he hired at Dale's request to kill police informer Terrence Hodson had also killed his wife, Christine, he asked the gunman: "What happened with the sheila?" "That's not for you to worry about," the gunman replied, about which Williams said, "That was the end of the conversation". According to Williams, he met Dale following his release from prison in 2002 when Dale requested a meeting with him via another criminal. "I first met him at the Brunswick Club, where Lewis Moran was killed," Williams said. "He (Dale) was telling me he could keep an eye out for me. "In return, Dale expected to be paid for any information that he gave to me . . . I think we were both suspicious of each other at that time and remained so." Williams said, early on, Dale showed him a police report that revealed that an Asian man called Jimmy had been giving information to the police about Williams, who was called "Fat Boy" in the police report. "As a result of reading the report, I dropped off Jimmy and did no more (drug-dealing) business with him." The court heard that Williams's relationship with Dale grew as they met more often. "On most occasions when I met with Dale, I would give him an envelope with money in it. The money I paid Dale usually ranged from $2000 to $5000 each time." On one occasion, he said, Dale asked him if he wanted the detective to do anything to Williams's gangland rival Jason Moran. "It was pretty widely known that Jason and I had problems at the time," Williams said in his statement. "I didn't know whether they (Dale and a fellow detective) were fair dinkum or trying to set me up. Dale said he could kill Jason for $400,000. I told them they were dreaming." Williams claimed that Dale told him he had arranged internal police systems so Victoria Police would be unable to check on Williams without Dale knowing about it. "He told me he did this so that he could keep up to date with any investigations against me." At one stage, Williams said, Dale asked him to meet in a swimming pool near Seaford where Dale told Williams to tip off fellow gangland figure Tony Mokbel about a police investigation into a drug laboratory. "We met at the swimming pool because he was paranoid of me and I was paranoid of him," said Williams. "Dale had two pairs of shorts or swimming togs. We put these on and got into the pool and walked up and down in the water." The court heard that in his April 2007 statement, Williams said he had no knowledge of who killed the Hodsons at their Kew home in May 2004, but in his second statement, in January 2009, he was ready to reveal the hitman. "I didn't want to be a dog and be a protection prisoner, but my attitude has changed," he said. Williams alleged that Dale told him he had to "get" Hodson before he could give evidence at a committal hearing about his alleged involvement in a burglary involving drugs, in which Dale was implicated. He said: "We went for a walk. Dale told me that he had to get Hodson and he had to get Hodson before Dale's committal. "Dale said he didn't want to go back to jail. He said he had been in isolation and it was tough. "He said he had someone on the job but it was taking too long to get Hodson. Dale asked me if I could help him out." Williams claimed Dale told him the job would pay $150,000. Williams said he approached a hitman who he knew had "a reputation as a fairly ruthless bloke". He met with the hitman, who can't be named for legal reasons, on the ground floor of the Marriott hotel. "I told him there was a contract there for Terry Hodson and I told him the amount of $150,000. There was never any contract on his wife and I never mentioned Terry's wife to (the hitman)." Williams said he didn't know exactly when Hodson would be murdered and the first he heard about it was on the news. The court heard that a few days after the Hodsons' deaths, Williams's statement said, he got a call from Dale telling him "it's been dropped off". "I knew he was talking about the money for the Hodson murders," Williams said. "I was at my mum's when Dale made that call to me. I went and checked the bin. It was a large green wheelie bin that Mum kept inside the gate. Inside the bin, I saw a plastic bag and I took it out of the bin and went back inside." He said he counted the money, which was bundled in $10,000 amounts with rubber bands around it. "It might have been $100 or so short but effectively the money was all there." A few days later, Williams met the hitman at the Marriott again. "I left the bag containing the $150,000 on the ground next to our seats and he collected it." "(The hitman said) 'Quick, hey?' and smiled and chuckled. "I said to him: 'What happened with the sheila?' He said: 'That's not for you to worry about.' That was the end of the conversation. "I asked him about the sheila because I didn't think she needed to die and she wasn't a part of the contract. Having said that, I didn't push it any further." Williams said he never spoke again to the hitman about the Hodson murders. "It is an unspoken rule that once a job is done, you don't mention it again so you don't get caught out on a listening device or something." He also revealed that hitmen preferred to kill on cold days because "the cold weather means it's less likely that people will be out walking around and possibly witness something". In his January 2009 statement, Williams said "since I have been locked up, (lawyer Nicola) Gobbo has told me that Dale has asked after me and has asked if there is anything he can do for me. I just dismissed it because there was nothing he can do for me and I don't want to deal with him." Williams was bashed to death in Barwon jail in April last year.
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