NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn (second from right) arrives at the Lindt cafe siege inquest on Tuesday. Photo: Kate GeraghtyA text from NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione to his Deputy Catherine Burn sent on the night of the Lindt Cafe siege has emerged in an embarrassing last-minute discovery.
Nanjing Night Net

When Ms Burn stepped into the witness box at the siege inquest for the second day on Tuesday, she was quizzed about the text, handed to the inquiry that morning.

The text was identified in an email Ms Burn sent to herself at 10.37pm on December 15, 2014, as the siege entered its 13th hour.

Ms Burn told the inquest it was a ‘bit of a shock’ to learn the email was found on Monday night and brought to attention on Tuesday morning.

Ms Burn sent the text from Mr Scipione in an email to herself, presumably as a reminder.

In his text, Mr Scipione said he needed advice on getting new electronic and audio intelligence gathering equipment for the Specialist Services Group (SSG).

“Catherine, I’ve had a quick chance to talk to the SSG team who were forward tonight,” Mr Scipionie wrote the inquest heard.

“It has become apparent we should be preparing a fresh bid for any new equipment as necessary.”

He asked Ms Burn to make sure they get some advice on imaging and audio intelligence gathering equipment to make sure they appropriately prepared for the future.

“Thanks again for your hard work today, see you bright and early in the morning,” Mr Scipione signed off with.

Ms Burn, the head of counter-terrorism, went off-duty on the night of the siege and was due to restart the next morning.

The inquest heard that NSW Police were forced to use equipment from another agency on the night of the siege.

The equipment – some of which funding has been since granted for – Mr Scipione referred to in his text was about NSW Police getting their own down the track.

Counsel assisting the coroner Jeremy Gormly SC was visibly annoyed as he told the inquest he was served a “cropped” copy of the email that did not include details of when the email was sent or where from.

“Why was that cropped out for purposes of production to us this morning?” he asked Ms Burn.

Ms Burn replied: “I don’t know, this is the first time I’ve seen this.”

Ms Burn said she also didn’t know who brought the email forward.

“It was a bit of a shock,” she said.

“From my understanding the documents were reviewed and those that were considered necessary were provided to the court.

“I think last night someone has gone back and checked and identified that document.”

Ms Burn initially did a search of her emails to hand to the inquest, which IT officers followed with another search.

However she didn’t know if the email detailing Mr Scipione’s text was handed over to her legal team.

“It wasn’t provided to this inquiry with your other emails correct?” Mr Gormly asked

“That’s what I was told this morning,” Ms Burn replied.

Counsel for NSW police, Dr Ian Freckelton QC, quickly provided Mr Gormly with an email including all the details and said they tried to provide a version at the “absolute earliest opportunity”.

Ms Burn was called to give evidence at the inquest into the 2014 siege after requests from the families of killed hostages Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson.

Mr Scipione is also due to give evidence.

The inquest continues.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.