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Officer knew of preparations for Palm Is riot, court hears

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 13 April 2005

A police detective has denied last year's riot on Palm Island off north Queensland could have been prevented.

Detective Sergeant Darren Alan Robinson gave evidence today at the committal hearing of 23 people charged over the riot.

Hundreds of angry people stormed the Palm Island police compound on November 26, torching buildings and trapping police.

Today, the Townsville Magistrates Court heard Detective Sergeant Robinson had received several tip-offs that the island's police station was going to be firebombed.

Under cross-examination, he said he had been told Molotov cocktails were being prepared for the attack.

Defence barrister Mark Donnelly argued the riot was the result of the default, neglect and ignorance of the Queensland Police Service.

He asked the detective if the situation could have been prevented had police reinforcements been called in.

Detective Sergeant Robinson testified that extra police had been sent to the island ahead of the riot.

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