MURDER-ACCUSED Tracy Goodman sobbed, collapsed and lay in a foetal position outside Palmerston North police station, but remained adamant she did not kill Mona Morriss, former detective superintendent Lawrence Reid testified yesterday.
The Crown alleges Goodman, 43, murdered the Marton pensioner on January 3, 2005, and burgled her flat. Goodman denies both charges.
Mr Reid, who was the officer in charge of the murder inquiry in May 2005, told the High Court in Wanganui, of an untaped exchange with Goodman on May 8, 2005, as they smoked together during a break in police interviews.
"She was sobbing. I then said to her was there something she needed to talk about and she said to me she had done something bad or something bad had happened," he said.
Mr Reid then told Goodman it would help if she talked about what was troubling her and sought forgiveness and asked if she had a faith in God.
Goodman told him she had a problem but would not say what it was and asked Mr Reid to pray with her.
"At that point in time, she actually collapsed and was lying on the ground in the foetal position." "I then asked her had she killed that lady in Marton& she said 'no I didn't, no I didn't'," Mr Reid said.
Goodman had quickly gained her composure and asked to be interviewed by another police officer and for everything she said to be taped, he said.
Prior to this exchange, in a taped May 8 interview shown to the court, Detective Sergeant Gwynne Pennell had questioned Goodman in relation to the Morriss murder.
Goodman was brought in for questioning on May 7 in relation to some burglaries in April and had been charged.
On May 8, Ms Pennell questioned Goodman about her movements over the Christmas-New Year period and established Goodman had been in Marton on January 3, 2005.
After an hour and a-half, Detective Konrad Tamati took over the interview, questioning Goodman directly about when she was last at the Wellington Rd flats and when she had met Mrs Morriss.
Goodman said had never met her or any of her family.
Mr Tamati also asked Goodman when she had last been in Mrs Morriss' flat, but she said she had never been there.
"I wasn't, I wasn't in there, I didn't do [it]. Am I getting charged with murder?", she said.
Mr Tamati then asked her if she was okay because she sounded upset, to which Goodman replied it was because he was saying she was at Mrs Morriss' flat.
"I've never hurt the old people that I've stolen from&physically; emotionally, well I've found that [out] later&but; not physically. I've never physically harmed any of the victims I've stolen [from], ripped off," she said.
"I don't know [Mona Morriss] and I've never been to her place."
Goodman said she was getting agitated because of her past. She knew nothing about the murder and did not know why whoever killed Mrs Morriss hadn't just stolen from her and left her alone.
In their cross-examinations, Goodman's defence counsel questioned police about their interviewing tactics that weekend and the length of the interviewing.
Counsellor Steve Winter asked Mr Reid whether it was a deliberate tactic to change interviewers and put pressure on Goodman to get a confession.
Mr Reid said it was.
The defence also asked whether the questioning had been deliberately timed for when the courts were closed.
The trial continues today.
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