A top cop has given evidence about bail and how offenders are monitored. He was speaking at the inquest today into the death of Christie Marceau.

Akshay Chand stabbed Christie to death in her North Shore home in November 2011.

Chand was on bail at the time and facing charges of earlier kidnapping and assaulting her.

The inquest opened on Monday before Coroner Katharine Greig.


Today, she is hearing from one of the country's most senior police officers about the bail process and the role of his staff in monitoring and checking offenders released into the community.

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Detective Superintendent Dave Lynch was called as an expert witness to assist the court and Coroner by explaining a number of elements around the bail process.

Those included:

• what information was given to Chand's mother and aunt about his bail conditions

• what Chand's expectations were in relation to his supervision

• who Chand's family were expected to contact if they had any problems

• what the police bail monitoring response was when Chand's case was before the courts

• the nature and extent of the monitoring of Chand while he was on bail

Lynch explained to the inquest that police had no specific policy - either in 2011 or now - outlining how many times a person on bail should be checked.

"Given the number of people on bail, police need to prioritise who is checked and how often they are checked," he said.

Chand was checked 23 times from October 6, 2011 - the day after he was granted bail by Judge David McNaughton - to when he killed Christie on November 7, 2011.

He said each time Chand was checked, he was complying with his bail conditions.

Lynch said since Christie's death police had made changes - though not as a direct result - to the way they monitor offenders on bail.

"In February 2012 police introduced a bail management software application nationally," he said.

"This application replaced any other databases in use and provided a nationally consistent process for bail to be managed."

All bail conditions for an offender are entered into the national system, but managed by the police in the individual district.

"The bail management application provides the means for police to prioritise, assign and monitor bail checks including identifying when bail conditions have been breached," Lynch said.

In 2013 police introduced a mobility programme, which gave every officer an iPhone.

This meant every officer could carry out "real time checks" and provide live updates on offenders to the national system.

Under cross-examination Lynch said it would be "preferable" to have a change to the bail application process to allow police to do more checks.

Much discussion during the inquest has been about Chand being bailed to a house less than 1km from Christie's home - despite "vigorous" opposition from police and the Marceau family.

Lynch said a written application - even a brief one - should be standard when "fresh circumstances" are raised, for example, when bail has been declined but a new address is proposed.

Many bail applications in district courts are done orally, without notice.

But Lynch suggested a two-day notice period would be better.

It would give police more time to check the bail address, which Lynch believed was crucial.

"A, to make sure the address actually exists - it's not unheard of for people to get bail to addresses that don't exist," he said.

"And B, to check who lives at the address - if there are young children or any other concerns around the location of the address in terms of proximity to the victim or witnesses.

"From a police perspective as much information that can practically be advanced prior to the bail hearing would assist."

He was asked if he could make any recommendations to improve the bail process, particularly in a case like Chand's.

Chand was declined bail three times before Judge David McNaughton granted his application.

The inquest has heard that Chand's application did not change - each time he asked to live at his mother's.

That house, and its close proximity to his victim was the "focal point" of the police opposition.

"Having a definition, or a section in the bail act about what the change of circumstances is [for the applicant] or specifically outlining what circumstance a fresh bail condition could be advanced would also be helpful," he said.

Lynch said for some offenders bail was no obstacle to reoffending.


"I would have to say that even if you had electronically monitored bail, which is considered the gold standard in bail conditions, if someone is particularly motivated to abscond, quite frankly they can't be stopped."

The inquest continues.