WITH the cut-off for Rio selection looming, John Diamond was encouraged to “take the fall” for his younger brother, six-time Olympian Michael Diamond, over allegations that threatened to derail his illustrious shooting career, Raymond Terrace Local Court has heard.
Michael Constantine Diamond, 44, faced a hearing on Tuesday into allegations of high-range drink driving and firearm offences which stemmed from a “domestic incident” at his brother’s Nelson Bay home on May 21 this year.
Michael Diamond was “drunk” and playing loud music when he and his brother started arguing about 9pm, the court heard.
“I rang the police and he grabbed his shotgun, which was behind my couch, and he jumped in the car and took off,” John Diamond told the court.
Police later found Michael Diamond out of his car on Shoal Bay Road.
A search of the vehicle revealed a disassembled gun in its case and ammunition loose in the car, the court heard.
He was later breath-tested and returned a reading of 0.159. But the defence case is that the breath-test was conducted outside the prescribed two-hour period from when he is alleged to have driven the vehicle.
They also claim the search of his car was illegal.
The charges resulted in a suspension of his firearm license and Michael Diamond’s legal team had worked to expedite a hearing to clear his name before the team selection for Rio.
Under cross-examination from police prosecutor Garry Rowe, John Diamond said his mother and a solicitor for his brother sat down with him at his home and encouraged him to sign an affidavit.
The statement, which John Diamond said had been prepared by the solicitor, varied from his evidence in court on Tuesday, most significantly about whether or not he saw his brother’s car drive away from his home.
“He wanted me to make out to be the bad person, that I started the whole problem and wanted Michael to come out as if he was the good person,” John Diamond said.
“He wanted me to take the fall for him.”
The hearing will continue during two days in May.