THE supergrass who
broke the bikie code of silence over the 2001 car-bomb murder of top
cop Don Hancock and his mate Lou Lewis is now a free man.
High-level sources have
confirmed Sidney John “Snot” Reid, who served just 15 years after
testifying against fellow Gypsy Joker Graham “Slim” Slater and then
fingered another bikie associate for murder, has been released from
an east coast prison within the past six months.
The news has swept
police and criminal circles and while his whereabouts are unclear,
it is believed he and his girlfriend have assumed new identities
under the witness protection program.
Once described as
Australia’s most protected prisoner, Reid has been shuffled between
high-security facilities, including Goulburn’s “Super Max” which
houses the country’s worst offenders.
While Reid pleaded
guilty to the double killing just weeks after his February 2002
arrest, Slater pleaded not guilty to murdering the pair by
detonating a bomb under the car they were driving when returning
from the races in September 2001.
spectacularly acquitted of all charges brought by Reid’s roll-over
in a verdict that stunned police, the victims’ families and the
Reid told police the
murders were payback for the death of Billy Grierson, who they
believed was shot dead by Hancock outside the retired detective’s
outback pub at Ora Banda, near Kalgoorlie, on the night of the
Sydney Olympics’ closing ceremony.
Reid then accused
another Joker associate, Gary White, of murdering drug dealer
Anthony Tapley the previous August in a completely unrelated crime
unknown to police.
White was subsequently
charged and convicted of murder, primarily on Reid’s testimony, and
is still in jail serving a 22-year-minimum life sentence. While
bones believed to be Tapley’s were later found at a Northam Farm,
they were never conclusively proved to be his.
White’s legal team
wants Attorney-General John Quigley to refer the conviction back to
the Court of Appeal based on the unreliability of Reid’s evidence
and what they believe to be fresh evidence from prisoners who served
time with the bikie.
“There are so many
unanswered questions,” White’s lawyer Gary Massey told The Sunday
Times this week.
He believes Reid’s
testimony in the White conviction was manufactured to make sure Reid
gained maximum benefits for himself at the expense of his client,
who has always maintained his innocence.
unprecedented co-operation, a Letter of Comfort, signed off by then
assistant police commissioner Tim Atherton and DPP Robert Cock, was
taken into consideration when Reid was sentenced.
Mr Atherton this week
told The Sunday Times he would never have signed the supporting
letter — the only one in his long career — if there were any doubts
about the Tapley investigation.
“I asked the question
along the lines that, ‘Have we run out all inquiries into his (Tapley’s)
missing persons file’, to which I was told, ‘Yes, boss’,” he said.
“It was drawn to my attention some time later that the Tapley
missing person file was still open.”
The Sunday Times
approached the Gypsy Jokers for comment.