The New South Wales Police Commissioner snapped at a journalist during a press conference about the alleged murder of former Channel Ten roving reporter Jesse Baird and her boyfriend Luke Davies.
Beau Lamarre-Condon, a senior constable with the New South Wales Police, was charged with two counts of murder on Friday over the deaths of Baird, 26, and her boyfriend, Mr Davies, 29, at a house in Sydney’s inner suburbs on February 20.
Lamarre-Condon He is a former partner of Mr. Baird and is accused of using his police Glock pistol to shoot him and Mr Davies at Mr Baird’s Paddington home, before he allegedly took their bodies to an unknown location.
He has not told investigators where the bodies are supposed to be, but police believe they are at a remote property in Bungonia, in the southern tablelands of New South Wales, about 185 kilometers from where the alleged murders took place. An extensive search is underway in the area.
During a news conference about the tragedy Monday morning, Police Chief Karen Webb faced a brutal question about her leadership.
Seven News’ Robert Ovadia asked why it took him three days to address the media after murder charges were laid against a member of the NSW Police Force.
The commissioner tried to explain that she was at a parliamentary estimates hearing on Friday and at an LGBTIQ event on Saturday, which meant she could not have held a press conference.
Jesse Baird (left) and her boyfriend Luke Davies (right) were allegedly murdered in Sydney on February 20.
Beau Lamarre-Condon (pictured), a senior constable with the New South Wales Police, is accused of shooting the couple with his police weapon.
The journalist cited a situation last year in which a police officer allegedly attacked a 95-year-old grandmother with a Taser at a senior care facility. She died in hospital shortly after.
The police chief came under heavy criticism for flatly refusing to watch the video of Claire Nowland allegedly being hit with the Taser.
The journalist noted: ‘Last year a police officer allegedly Tasered a 95-year-old woman, that was also historic, and on both occasions it has taken them days to address this publicly.
‘Are there doubts about his leadership?’
Commissioner Webb smiled and said, “No, and that’s offensive.”
He then explained that he was in Parliament when the accused surrendered at Bondi police station on Friday and therefore would not have been able to address the media immediately.
The commissioner then explained that she was at an LGBTIQ event in Brontë, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, on Saturday and could not have held a conference that day either.
He then took aim at the media, adding, “I don’t remember seeing a lot of media there, but I was there.”
NSW Police are already doing damage control after a special commission of inquiry into LGBTIQ hate crimes found officers were hostile to victims’ families and failed to investigate each matter properly or fairly.
NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb (pictured) snapped at a reporter during a press conference on Monday.
The owner of the Bungonia property, who lives in Melbourne, said no one was there last week. There are four dams on the property (the three largest are surrounded by a circle)
When asked if the media was informed about Saturday’s event because the media was not made aware of it through a statement from the NSW Police, Commissioner Webb admitted she did not know because it was a private event. .
Another reporter asked Commissioner Webb why he couldn’t have left the budget estimates on Friday to address the alleged double murder.
‘Couldn’t you leave estimates? Is that what you’re saying? …Isn’t there a lunch break when you can leave your booth and address the media?
Commissioner Webb said: “It’s a full day.”
He cited a press release he issued on Sunday in which he apologized to the families of victims of LGBTIQ hate crimes. The commissioner then suggested there were not enough staff over the weekend.
The commissioner was already under fire for apparently disappearing over the weekend, aside from a pair of written statements issued on her behalf on Sunday.
On Sunday, he originally turned down an interview with 2GB presenter Ben Fordham about why it took him three days to address the media about a police officer accused of two murders.
Police were seen searching several dams and bushland on the remote property (pictured).
An extensive police search is underway in the Bungonia area (pictured)
However, she changed her mind and joined him for a phone interview.
He asked why he disappeared when there was bad news and said he could have reassured the public about how Lamarre-Condon was able to allegedly murder two men with a police-issued gun.
Commissioner Webb said she was in Parliament on Friday and attended an LGBTIQ event on Saturday and could not have addressed the media.
When asked if there are regulations regarding the use of police firearms, he responded: “There are rules, but this investigation has been considered a critical incident due to the use of a police firearm.”
He said the use of a firearm will be monitored by a police conduct commission and the circumstances of this situation will be addressed in that investigation.
On Monday, Deputy Commissioner Dave Hudson said Lamarre-Condon had made “partial confessions to an acquaintance” the day after the alleged murders.
Then he bought an angle grinder and a lock.
The alleged killer later bought weights before returning to the Bungonia rural property in the evening. The property has four dams.