judge's secret witness

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    Judge's secret witness

    By KARA LAWRENCE, Police reporter

    November 15, 2004

    A nurse at RPA could hold the key to Shaw's missing sample

    A ROYAL Prince Alfred hospital nurse has emerged with powerful evidence that will rock the Policed Integrity Commission investigation into former Justice Jeff Shaw's missing blood sample.

    With the three-day hearing beginning today, The Daily Telegraph can reveal the nurse has corroborated claims by a doctor that then Justice Shaw's sample was placed inside a secure box for delivery to police.

    The new claim deepens the mystery of how Mr Shaw ended up in possession of the police blood sample.

    If proven, it will turn the spotlight for the disappearance of the police blood sample back onto the police and Mr Shaw.

    The claim came on the eve of a hearing before the PIC, which today launches a hearing into the blood sample debacle. The commission is expected to also question the whereabouts of the second blood sample taken from the former Supreme Court Judge and state attorney-general.

    The Daily Telegraph understands a nurse at the hospital has told police investigating the missing police blood sample that Mr Shaw's sample was placed inside a secure box at the hospital.

    The box is used to store blood tests taken by hospital staff, and is then delivered to the police blood sampling unit so the samples can be sent for analysis.

    Mr Shaw resigned on Friday, after his wife surrendered the second blood sample in his possession a week earlier.

    Testing of the sample, which as The Daily Telegraph revealed, was found to be the missing police sample, showed Mr Shaw had a blood reading 4½ times the legal limit when he crashed his car in Birchgrove last month.

    The nurse's statement corroborates that of Malcolm Hill, an RPA doctor who treated Mr Shaw when he presented for treatment after the crash.

    Dr Hill was adamant in his statement to police that he recalled placing one of Mr Shaw's blood samples in the secure box.

    Meanwhile, police confirmed they were waiting for the the end of the PIC hearing before taking any action against Mr Shaw over his 0.225 blood alcohol reading.

    It is anticipated Mr Shaw will be summonsed to appear on a charge of high-range drink-driving after the PIC hearing, but the PIC is currently in possession of the blood alcohol test results.

    A spokeswoman for Police Commissioner Ken Moroney, while not confirming that charges would be forthcoming, said police were powerless to act until the PIC's hearing was complete.

    "When the PIC officially hands the certificate of blood analysis to police we will take the appropriate action against him," she said.

    It is unclear whether Mr Shaw, who is being treated at Sydney clinic for alcohol-related illness, will give evidence at today's hearing.

    As probably the most crucial witness, he has been summonsed to appear before the hearing this morning.


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