All Blacks didn't want police called after bug discovery

The Rugby Championship
by AAP

The All Blacks did not want police involved after a bugging device was found in their Sydney hotel, a court has heard.

Paul Walters, former general manager for the InterContinental Hotel in Double Bay, told the Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday that the team manager was worried about publicity surrounding the discovery of the listening device.

Adrian Gard faced court over allegations he lied about finding a listening device in the All Blacks hotel room in 2016.

The New Zealand rugby team's security guard Adrian Gard has pleaded not guilty to making up claims about finding the bug secreted in a chair in the team's meeting room in August last year.

Mr Walters, giving evidence via videolink from London, told the court he was in his office at about 5.20pm on Monday, August 15, when called to Gard's room after the bug had been found.

The All Blacks have an intimidating record. Photo: Getty ImagesHe saw a chair in the room which had been cut open before being shown the listening device by Gard and All Blacks manager Darren Shand.

Mr Walters said he took the matter seriously and asked the two men if they wanted him to immediately contact police.

He said Mr Shand did not want police involved because he was worried about the media getting hold of the story.

An internal investigation was launched by the hotel, including hiring two private investigators.

Part of the investigation involved accessing the hotel's CCTV footage but there had been no cameras in the ballroom where the All Blacks had had their meetings.

Mr Walters said it was not until the Friday when the issue of calling the police was again raised with Mr Shand.

There were concerns the planting of listening devices involved potential criminal activity but Mr Shand again said no to any police involvement.

Mr Walters said it was not until just after 9am on Saturday, August 20 - the day of the Bledisloe Cup match between the All Blacks and Australia - when Mr Shand called him and asked him to contact police.

He said Mr Shand told him "news of the bugging was about to hit the press in 15 minutes" and he was happy for police to be finally called.