When underworld killer Carl Williams confessed to three gangland murders he named Lawyer X Nicola Gobbo in his official police statement.
She was so worried about what he was saying, its been revealed she went snooping around the office of a fellow barrister to find out what he said.
In June 2007, a month after Williams was jailed for 35 years for the killings, Ms Gobbo confessed to her police handlers that she’d gone “looking around” the office of Williams then barrister, Sharon Cure.
Among documents in the office of the now-Tasmanian magistrate she found prison phone records connecting her to an underworld witness she helped implicate and later defended.
She feared the information was enough to expose her as a police informer, and was also concerned that Williams had possibly implicated her in criminal activity in his statement.
An inquiry into police use of informers has heard Ms Gobbo was so adamant Williams’ claims were untrue that she threatened to write to Supreme Court Justice Betty King to tell her his evidence was “bullshit”.
“To be perfectly frank she was, at that stage, a nightmare,” counsel assisting Chris Winneke QC suggested.
A former senior handler known as Sandy White wasn’t so blunt.
“I wouldn’t describe her as a nightmare, but I would say we had been thinking about exit strategies in relation to her for quite some time,” he said.
But other senior officers including then assistant commissioner Simon Overland had other ideas and pushed for her to be examined in coercive Office of Police Integrity hearings.
It was hoped she could provide valuable information about the 2003 murder of Shane Chartres-Abbott, and the murders of Terence and Christine Hodson the following year.
She was examined over two days in July and August 2007, but was reluctant to answer questions fearful those hearings could also out her as an informer.
Ms Gobbo eventually became a witness in relation to the Hodson murders, ending her informing in 2009.