Lawyers for the mother and son accused of murdering police officer Bryson Anderson have won a partial victory in their bid to cross examine the police officers who witnessed the alleged crime at the pair's upcoming pre-trial hearing.
In a decision which paves the way for Fiona Barbieri, 45, and Mitchell Barbieri, 19, to face a committal hearing just over a year after Detective Inspector Anderson's death, a local magistrate ordered that they be allowed to put some but not all of the police eye-witnesses in the stand.
Police say they attended the Barbieri's property at Oakville on December 6 in response to an urgent call from their neighbour Kevin Waters, to find the Barbieris allegedly barricaded inside the house and firing arrows at arriving officers.
It is alleged when Inspector Anderson went around to the back entrance of the brick bungalow to negotiate with the pair he was attacked with a knife by the 19-year-old while his mother swung a block hammer at other officers who then tried to intervene.
''It is the Crown case that...the accused shortly thereafter struck Inspector Anderson with two blows, one of which caused his death," Magistrate O'Brien told Central Local Court.
''In considering the application I have given weight to the fact that the incident occurred quickly, in a confined space and in what was undoubtedly a highly charged atmosphere,'' he said.
Lawyers for the pair had argued that inconsistencies among the statements and recorded interviews of the various police witnesses cast doubt over the Crown's case that the pair had been part of a joint criminal enterprise with the aim of murdering or causing serious bodily injury to Detective Anderson.
They sought permission to cross examine eight police and the forensic pathologist who conducted the post mortem on the 45-year-old's body.
Magistrate O'Brien granted permission for Fiona Barbieri's lawyers to cross examine six of the eight witnesses on specific topics such as her specific movements before and after the stabbing, and an alleged admission she is said to have made shortly before being placed in the police van.
Mitchell Barbieri's lawyers were granted permission to cross examine three officers, also on specific topics, including precisely where their client was the alleged blows were struck.The pair will now face a committal hearing on December 11 and 12.