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NSW MP Sue Higginson slams Commissioner Karen Webb over Taylor Swift quip

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Remy Varga
The Nightly
3 Min Read
NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb during an interview on Sunrise on Tuesday morning.
NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb during an interview on Sunrise on Tuesday morning. Credit: Sunrise/Sunrise

NSW Greens MP Sue Higginson has criticised state police commissioner Karen Webb after the top cop made a joke about pop singer Taylor Swift in response to criticisms of the police investigation into the alleged murder of a gay eastern suburbs couple.

Ms Higginson on Wednesday said the investigation into the deaths of television presenter Jesse Baird, 26, and Luke Davies, 29, had been inadequate and added that her reference to Taylor Swift in Tuesday’s interview on Sunrise was “frankly disgraceful”.

“Commissioner Webb’s comments are hurtful, unacceptable and reflect a deep cultural problem,” she said.

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“Luke Davies and Jessie Baird were young, in love, part of a community, have families.” she said, adding that they were allegedly murdered by a member of the NSW Police force, a force for which Ms Webb was responsible.

“Their loved ones are in shock and in mourning.

“The Commissioner is on national television dismissing her critics with Taylor Swift lyrics. It’s frankly disgraceful.”

Later on Tuesday Ms Webb blamed the comment on “Taylor fever” and said her priority was on the families of Baird and Davies and the investigation into the alleged murders.

“We’ve just had Taylor Swift in the city, it was Taylor fever here,” she told Nine.

“Certainly, my efforts have been on the investigation, and they remain so, to support the police and the work they do.

“That’s where the priority is, it’s really about the families now.”

Murder-accused Constable Beau Lamarre-Condon is alleged to have killed Baird, with whom he had some kind of relationship, and Davies with his police issued Glock pistol that he had checked out from Miranda police station.

Ms Webb has also drawn criticism for taking three days to front the media after the alleged murders and on Tuesday morning defended police handling of the investigation in a televised interview on Seven’s Sunrise by quoting a song by Taylor Swift.

“There will always be haters. Haters like to hate. Isn’t that what Taylor says?” Ms Webb told Sunrise.

Police allege Luke Davies (left) and Jesse Baird (right) were murdered by NSW police officer Beau Lamarre-Condon. Instagram
Police allege Luke Davies (left) and Jesse Baird (right) were murdered by NSW police officer Beau Lamarre-Condon. Instagram Credit: Supplied

NSW detectives found the bodies of Baird and Davies concealed in surfboard bags covered in debris and rocks at a property in Bungonia, about 180km south of Sydney, on Tuesday after Const. Lamarre-Condon disclosed the location to investigators.

On Wednesday an under-fire Commissioner Webb backtracked on a statement that she was “very grateful” to Const. Lamarre-Condon for revealing where he had allegedly hidden the bodies, telling Sky that she was “not perfect”.

“I’m not necessarily grateful to the accused but let me just put it this way, without that information we would still be searching,” she said.

Const. Lamarre-Condon, an aspiring actor who was obsessed with celebrities, reportedly made a bullying and harassment complaint against a NSW Police colleague hours before he handed himself in at Bondi police station on Friday.

Opposition leader Mark Speakman said NSW Police Minister Yasmin Catley was “habitually missing in action” and the state needed a minister who could ensure confidence in police.

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