Organisers ask NSW Police not to march in Mardi Gras parade

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NSW Police says it’s “disappointed” at being disinvited from marching in this weekend’s Mardi Gras parade in the wake of the alleged murders of Jesse Baird and Luke Davies.

Organisers said police participation would add to the distress already being felt in the “devastated” community which was grieving the loss of the young couple.

Earlier on Monday, NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said it would be a “travesty” for officers not to join the march which they had been part of for 20 years.

She said the alleged double murder, allegedly committed by serving NSW Police officer Beau Lamarre-Condon, was “not gay hate-related”.

“This is a crime of passion, we will allege. It is domestic related, we allege, and that would be a real travesty for this organisation to be excluded.”

It comes as friends of Baird, 26, have refuted police claims that the former Ten presenter and his alleged killer had previously been in a relationship.

Police had said Lamarre-Condon was Baird’s ex-boyfriend, however friends told media they were “never going out”.

ABC TV producer Isaac Muller told the 7.30 program the pair was never in a relationship.

“Jesse briefly had an encounter with Beau. He was not his ex-boyfriend,” he said.

“They were never going out.”

Baird’s good friend and an ex-boyfriend of five years Corey-Dean Thorpe told The Daily Mail that Baird had tried to block Lamarre-Condon from his life because the constable was pretending they were together.

“Jesse would be so angry at the portrayal in the media of Beau as his ex-partner, and it’s disrespectful to Jesse’s family that Beau is being made out to be his ex,” Thorpe said.

“They were friends, but when Beau began filming them and putting videos on Instagram — which were hidden from Jesse — making it look as if they were a couple, Jesse told him, “We can’t be friends anymore.”‘

Thorpe said Baird sent a message to Lamarre-Condon telling the former celebrity blogger to stop contacting him.

It read: “There have been many examples that have been brought to me since we met, that show you’ve acted in a way that’s completely inappropriate. I’m not going to stand for it anymore.

“I think it’s best if we focus on ourselves and stop seeing each other. I have thought long and hard about this and know it’s the right decision for me.

“I would appreciate if you could refrain from contacting me.”

Constable Beau Lamarre-Condon took part in the Sydney Mardis Gras in 2020. Photo: AAP

Beaumont Lamarre-Condon, 28, is behind bars after being charged with murdering Baird, 26, and the man’s new boyfriend Luke Davies, 29, in Sydney on February 19.

Investigators allege Lamarre-Condon’s crimes followed a months-long campaign of “predatory behaviour”, culminating in the fatal double shooting.

Police ‘disappointed’

Lamarre-Condon previously marched in the parade with the NSW Police contingent.

A NSW Police Force spokesperson confirmed police had been asked not to take part in this Saturday’s parade in Sydney.

“The NSW Police Force has been advised that the board of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has decided to withdraw the invitation to NSW Police to participate in this year’s event,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

“While disappointed with this outcome, NSW Police will continue to work closely with the LGBTIQA+ community and remain committed to working with organisers to provide a safe environment for all those participating in and supporting this Saturday’s parade.”

The LGBTQ Domestic Violence Awareness Foundation said conversations about police participation in Mardi Gras should be kept separate from the issue of the alleged murders.

“This, as has been alleged by NSW Police, is a domestic and family violence crime and we must all acknowledge that this issue occurs at a disproportionately higher rate in LGBTQ+ communities,” it said.

“Greater attention and focus needs to be on awareness, recognition and responses to domestic and family violence by our community, first responders, service providers and government.”

Timeline of alleged murders

NSW Police on Monday detailed the great lengths Beaumont Lamarre-Condon allegedly took to cover up the alleged murders.

Police divers scoured dams at Bungonia, an area near Goulburn and almost 200km southeast of Sydney.

Officers were pointed to the Southern Tablelands property after discovering “an innocent agent” travelled there on Wednesday afternoon with Lamarre-Condon in a hired van.

An angle grinder bought earlier by the acquaintance was used to cut a padlock on a gate, before Lamarre-Condon travelled alone into the property, returning about 30 minutes later, police allege.

The pair made the two-hour trip back to Sydney only for the accused to allegedly purchase weights and return to the property later that night.

Gaps in the timeline of Lamarre-Condon’s movements last week left open the possibility he retrieved the bodies and disposed of them somewhere else, police allege.

“It would appear that the accused was suspicious of the acquaintance that attended with him and about her belief that what he might have been up to, and very likely may have returned to those bodies later that evening,” Hudson said.

Police search a private rural property in Bungonia in the NSW Southern Tablelands. Photo: AAP

The acquaintance was not a suspect and did not know that two bodies were allegedly in the back of the hired white van.

We believe she was an innocent agent, a longtime friend of the accused, and we don’t believe that she was fully aware of what had taken place,” Hudson said.

Lamarre-Condon was next seen leaving the area about 4.30am on Thursday for Sydney, before heading to an acquaintance’s property in Newcastle.

“Without fully disclosing any criminality, he asked for access to a hose to clean that van,” Hudson said.

Police allege Lamarre-Condon went to Newcastle on the night before he handed himself in at an eastern Sydney police station on Friday.

Divers had previously been seen searching a waterway at Lambton, Newcastle.

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

Lifeline 13 11 14

-with AAP

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