Shortly after 1.00 pm on Thursday, 27th March, 1986 a massive explosion occurred near the southern entrance to the Russell Street Police Complex, when a car bomb was detonated. As a result of this act three people were injured, damage was caused to the façade of the police building, and the central business district was thrown into confusion for hours as emergency workers struggled to cope with the disaster. Later Forensic tests showed the bomb had consisted of 50 sticks of gelignite packed into a motor car and surrounded by small pieces of metal which were meant to act as “shrapnel”.
The investigation into the setting of the bomb began at once, and continued for months. During that time two of the injured – Magistrate Ian West and Constable Carl Donadio recovered from their wounds, but Constable Angela Taylor, who had suffered extensive burns to her body, died at the Royal Melbourne Hospital on the 20th April, 1986. Within two months police charged Peter Reed, Stanley Brian Taylor, and brothers Craig William Minogue and Rodney Joseph Minogue in relation to the bombing. The motivation for their actions stemmed from a hatred of police and a desire to strike a blow at the Force in general. After a trial lasting four and a half months, Reed was cleared of the charges, although he was convicted on a separate count of attempted murder of a policeman, whilst his co-offenders were found guilty as charged and sentenced to lengthy terms of imprisonment. All three later appealed to the full Supreme Court of the State of Victoria. Rodney Joseph Minogue had his conviction quashed, but his two companions had their appeals dismissed.