An inquiry has heard Victoria Police continued to use gangland barrister Nicola Gobbo as a secret informer despite at least 14 separate threats made against her.
**WARNING: This story contains explicit, graphic and violent language.**
- Nicola Gobbo sent one of the first death threats the year she signed on as a police informer, in 2005
- A list of threatening texts, released to the royal commission, show the senders thought she was passing information to police
- One police officer said he thought it was “inevitable” that Ms Gobbo would be murdered
A document tendered to the Lawyer X royal commission lists threats, including death threats, made between 2006 and 2008.
One entry, from August 2006, refers to Roberta Williams, the wife of crime boss Carl Williams.
“Milad Mokbel told Gobbo that Roberta Williams is going to bash her,” Ms Gobbo’s police handlers reported.
Many of the threats were made anonymously and referred to Ms Gobbo as a “dog”, a common underworld term for a police informer.
“Keep your mouth shut slut, f***n dog,” one text from March 2007 said.
“Made any false statements you c***,” another said.
“You are F***ED THIS TIME AROUND. I’m going to chop you up you dog slut,” a 2008 text message sent to Ms Gobbo’s source phone said.
‘I thought it was inevitable she would be killed’
Another series of text messages from one day, in December 2007, clearly showed the sender thought Ms Gobbo was helping police.
Message 1: Hey dog we worned [sic] you not to call or talk to pigs but you being the dog call your boyfriend from Purana now you will get it dog one in the head and one in the heart.
Message 2: Look out the window dog so I can put a couple in you rat.
Message 3: You need to get raped first then pissed on then kicked in the f***en’ dog head and then shot and splattered.
Message 4: Its [sic] near for you dog shit the f*** up no pigs will help you just watch when you in good soon I mite [sic] be in your bedroom waiting or maybe get you in the car park as you in home. Anyway its [sic] near for you pig lover dog
While the list of messages details threats from 2006 to 2008, the commission heard Ms Gobbo also received a death threat in 2005, the year she signed on as an informer to help police end Melbourne’s gangland war.
She was not deregistered as a source until early 2009 and continued passing on information informally until 2010.
Gavan Ryan, a senior police officer who investigated the gangland war, told the commission he had grave concerns for Ms Gobbo’s safety in 2006.
He told his superiors she should be deregistered as a source.
“I thought it was inevitable she would be killed,” Mr Ryan said.
Council assisting the commission, Andrew Woods, asked Mr Ryan whether Victoria Police should have continued using a source receiving so many threats.
“They should simply not have been used as a human source when someone is threatening to kill them because they were talking to police, [do you] accept that?” Mr Woods asked.
“In my personal opinion, yes, I would agree with that,” Mr Ryan said.