Court told of threesome, murder-suicide

A POLICE officer had a threesome with two sexual partners of a man who committed a murder-suicide in Devonport hours before the shooting  but did not tell a detective investigating the incident, a court has heard.

Timothy William Scott was a Launceston policeman when John Clements shot Benjamin Ahern dead, wounded Mr Ahern's girlfriend and then killed himself with a rifle in October 2011, the Devonport Magistrates Court heard yesterday.

Mr Clements had earlier assaulted his ex-partner upon arriving at her home, and Mr Ahern had arrived afterwards, the court was told.

Mr Scott has pleaded not guilty to a charge of making a false statutory declaration.

Hours before the shooting Mr Scott had a threesome with two women who had been having sexual relationships with Mr Clements, the court heard.

During an interview he did not tell a detective that he was at Mr Clements's ex-partner's house shortly before the murder-suicide, prosecutor Steve Bender said.

On October 7, 2011, Mr Clements's ex-partner, with whom he was still in a sexual relationship, met at her home with his other sexual partner, who was Mr Scott's wife, the court heard.

Mr Clements suggested the meeting so that the women would have a threesome with him, Mr Bender said.

The women had sex while Mr Clements was working night shift, the court heard.

He was due to finish at 7am the following day, Mr Bender said.

Mr Scott's wife, who was separated from him, contacted the police officer and invited him to the house, it was heard.

He arrived at the Devonport home at 4.30am and had a threesome with the women, Mr Bender said.

After Mr Scott left, Mr Clements arrived at 7am, and was unaware the police officer had been present at the house, the court was told.

Mr Clements punched his ex-partner  and left the property.

After his wife told him of the assault, Mr Scott arrived to advise Mr Clements's ex-partner to report the matter to police, Mr Bender said.

Benjamin Ahern, a friend of Mr Clements' ex-partner, then arrived at the property after she called him, and Mr Scott left with his wife, it was heard.

Mr Clements returned at 7.30am  and killed Mr Ahern with a high-powered .44 calibre rifle, Mr Bender said.

At that time Mr Ahern's girlfriend, who had been called to the house, arrived outside and Mr Clements shot and critically wounded her with the rifle.

He then shot himself, the court heard.

Mr Scott was returning to Mr Clements's ex-partner's house before he was stopped by police at least 50 metres from the property, Mr Bender said.

Police asked him to provide a statement at the Devonport police station, and he provided what was purported to be a statutory declaration, it was heard.

Defence counsel Greg Richardson said that a statutory declaration form used by police omitted important wording.

The document was not in fact a statutory declaration, he said.

He also argued that the false information that Mr Scott gave the detective was not important to police investigations at the time.

Mr Bender said that as a police officer Mr Scott must have recognised the situation's seriousness after the shooting.

Chief magistrate Michael Hill adjourned the matter to February 5 at the Devonport Magistrates Court for decision.

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