Retired detective defends handling of Jeffrey Brooks’ shooting death, but says he ‘couldn’t say’ the investigation was ‘100 pc’.

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A former assistant police commissioner has told a coroner he stands by his inquest into the killing of a man on a southeast Queensland farm more than 25 years ago.

Jeffrey Brooks, 24, was shot once in the chest while working on a crayfish farm in Beenleigh in March 1996.

At the time, the lead detective investigating the death, now-retired Senior Constable Michael Condon, ruled it was a work-related accident.

A reopened inquest, being held in Brisbane, is in its fourth day of a week-long hearing and is looking into whether anyone else was involved in the shooting. including his colleagues.

It also examines the adequacy of Mr. Condon’s investigation, including the handling of exhibits.

On Thursday, Mr. Condon was questioned extensively about several aspects of his initial investigation.

He was asked if he listened to the family’s concerns and kept an “open mind” or if he had “flashes” that the case was an accident.

“Sometimes it was difficult to remain open-minded in the sense that the theory is, senior Mr Brooks [Jeffrey’s father] had, compared to the most likely scenario I had,” he said.

Mr. Condon told the court that Mr Brooks’ father Lawrence Brooks had a “very strong view” that his son could not have shot himself, which was inconsistent with his view of the “most likely” cause of death.

“From what we knew at the time … the death was caused by an accidental discharge of the firearm,” Mr. Condon.

“[Lawrence Brooks] rejected the theory I put forward.”

‘Questions’ in the survey ‘could have been investigated further’

Condon in a case leaves the court
Former chief constable Michael Condon said the investigation was “thorough”.(AAP: Darren England)

Mr. Condon told the court the family had their own “theories and hypotheses” about what happened, but “mere suspicion is not proof” and at the time he could not act on it alone.

He admitted that this created “some tension” between him and Lawrence Brooks and he became frustrated with him during the investigation.

“He wasn’t open to other options,” he said.

The court has already heard the Brooks family lodged a complaint about Mr Condon’s investigation with the Criminal Justice Commission, a forerunner of the current Crime and Corruption Commission.

They raised questions that the gun involved in the shooting did not undergo adequate ballistics testing, the court had already heard.

Mr. Condon said the investigation was “as thorough as it could have been” but “I couldn’t say it was 100 percent”.

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